GE Healthcare aims to bring prenatal ultrasound to the home, with investment in smartphone-scanner developer

Make more room for pictures on the refrigerator: GE Healthcare and the handheld ultrasound developer Pulsenmore aim to give expectant parents the opportunity to chart their pregnancies at home and perform the scans themselves.

Pulsenmore’s device docks with a smartphone, allowing women to conduct their own exams and potentially skip an in-person doctor’s visit. The user can be guided online through a telehealth service or offline by following the steps in an app.

The Israeli startup aims to offer fast clinical feedback for periodic fetal ultrasound scans, and GE Healthcare is now supporting the company through an equity investment worth up to $50 million—to help the medtech enter what it describes as a rapidly expanding market of homecare and telemedicine services.

“Healthcare providers are predicting a significant shift of care services from traditional facilities to the home, which will require an increase in the level of quality or access,” GE Healthcare Ultrasound President and CEO Roland Rott said in a statement. “We also recognize the desire of patients—in this case, pregnant women—to be more empowered and involved in their healthcare.”

GE Healthcare will partner with Pulsenmore to distribute its system in Europe and other markets as it becomes available and support its push for an FDA clearance, as well as work to develop new ultrasound-based products for the home.

Rott said GE Healthcare sees the prenatal system as a “highly complementary offering” to its own portfolio of women’s health and primary care ultrasound devices including its handheld and cart-based hardware used in hospitals.

“With GE Healthcare’s market leadership position and reach, we are one step closer to achieving our vision of making home ultrasound universally accessible for remote and reliable care, ultimately improving maternal health across the globe,” Pulsenmore founder and CEO Elazar Sonnenschein said.

Pulsenmore is also developing remote devices for monitoring follicular development among women undergoing in vitro fertilization, as well as offerings aimed at chronic heart failure and end-stage renal disease.

The two companies expect the homecare market to top $662 billion by 2027, while telehealth and remote monitoring businesses could grow 30% annually through 2029.