Concerts, conferences, lectures, weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs – there’s no end of applications for video. So why not use it to capture one of the most exciting times for parents-to-be: that first glimpse of their little one on the ultrasound monitor?
That’s exactly the opportunity the co-founders of BabyFlix saw back in 2014. Today, the San-Diego-based BabyFlix provides its unique service through more than 100 clinics across the United States. Using the company’s online platform, new families can share and preserve ultrasound imagery as live streams, on-demand video, and photos. Cloud storage gives parents a convenient place to hold and secure their recordings.
It’s yet another example of an increasingly apparent principle: Where there’s something worth sharing, there’s an opportunity for video. And for the business-minded, it’s more evidence of the wisdom of investing in a robust video infrastructure, or getting familiar with products that could serve as the backbone of a profitable venture.
The birth (and boom) of BabyFlix
Many people are eager to share their ultrasound screenings with family and friends. But it’s not always possible, or easy. Family members live far away or can’t travel. The appointment timing might not work for everyone who’d love to be there. And capturing ultrasound images requires technical know-how that clinics might not have.
The demand for a platform like BabyFlix was inevitable in today’s hyperconnected world, says Steve Corey, one of the company’s founders. “The demographic of people having babies are sharing their lives online. it started to trend in the direction of, ‘Hey, you know what? I’m online, I’m posting everything. Now I’d like my friends to participate in my ultrasound exam.’”
BabyFlix works with partner clinics to source, set up, and configure the technology that makes ultrasound capture and streaming possible. The platform sends participating parents instructions on how to invite others to tune in. During the examination, parents can interact with viewers on their mobile devices.
The bottom line is, it’s one of those things that makes people happy, being able to share a big milestone like this. It lets them turn it into something they can look back on.
Making ultrasound imagery shareable
Most of the 100+ BabyFlix-equipped clinics are powered by Epiphan encoding and capture products, which have earned an easy recommendation from BabyFlix.
The capture card – an Epiphan AV.io or internal DVI2PCIe Duo – brings the video signal from the ultrasound machine into a computer running video production software. That computer is connected to an Epiphan encoder, which handles the streaming and/or recording.
By relying on Epiphan hardware, BabyFlix can focus on refining its software experience, scale more quickly, and sidestep the many challenges that come with the hardware business – from supply chain and manufacturing snags to distribution and logistical issues.
We’ve seen a whole host of things because we come into a lot of sites. Epiphan products are by far the best. It's the speed of encoding. It's the compatibility. With the video that's coming off of the machines, these aren't standard dimensions. It's not a clean signal. Epiphan products handle it. It’s just a nonissue.
Growing the concept
The idea of sharing ultrasound imagery has come a long way – from static images to DVDs to digital recordings to live streams. And there’s still plenty of room to grow. The company is looking into incorporating pre-appointment surveys, interactive video services, artificial intelligence, and other enhancements to take the concept to the next level.
“We’re certainly not at the pinnacle yet,” says Corey. “It will be more sophisticated, more interactive and engaging for people watching, more fun.”
Build your business with award-winning hardware
Have an idea for a video-driven venture? Looking to augment your current business with a video component, or replace underperforming products or services? Look no further than Epiphan’s suite of video production solutions. Versatile and reliable, Pearl hardware encoders support a broad range of applications for video. And Epiphan Cloud gives you the power to record, stream, switch, and mix from anywhere in the world.
Discover our award-winning products at epiphan.com/products.
BabyFlix was founded upon a vision to enhance the imagery received from an ultrasound exam and improve upon the ways it can be shared. To meet this demand, BabyFlix has developed and launched a web based service and a state of the art application integrating the most successful elements of social networking and wizard-driven video editing.