Will the fabled Star Trek Medical Tricorder be a reality? It might if there is a worthy winner of the X Prize Foundation’s $10 million competition scheduled to end on mid-2015. From New Scientist
Announcing the contest last year, Peter Diamandis of the X Prize Foundation said that the guidelines were inspired by the “medical tricorder” featured in the TV series Star Trek. Waved like a wand over the human body, the smartphone-like device was capable of diagnosing myriad ailments.
Like the tricorder, the winning device must be portable, weighing no more than 2.25 kilograms. It must be able to diagnose 12 specific medical conditions – ranging from a common ear infection to pneumonia – and monitor five vital signs. Competing teams must also choose three from a list of 12 more ambitious “elective” conditions to detect, including melanoma, food poisoning and HIV infection.
The guidelines specify that devices that work in the least invasive way will score best with the judges – a panel of non-expert users. And unlike the box of tricks on the TV show, competition devices must make diagnoses without any help from medical professionals.
The specifications of the device
I really look forward to a gadget like that. In the meantime there are already “plugins” like AliveCor’s ECG monitor for your iPhone and a portable Ultrasound (Windows mobile).
Portable gadgets are also getting cheaper these days and I just got myself this really cheap Pulse Oxymeter from Ebay