Qualcomm Foundation and the X Prize Foundation are challenging technology and medical innovators to develop a real-life mobile tricorder that can diagnose 15 diseases without any poking, prodding or invasive tests.
For those unfamiliar with the tricorder, it’s a scanning device used by the Star Trek characters Bones and Spock in various applications, including detecting health problems noninvasively.
Qualcomm Foundation Chairman Dr. Paul Jacobs announced the $10 million prize at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show last week in an effort to stimulate the development of devices that empower patients to take control of their own health.
The winning device will weigh no greater than five pounds, capture metrics that include heart rate, blood pressure and temperature, and be usable by the average consumer. It has already been suggested that in order to create such a device, companies will have to team up to combine technologies, and they may even have to measure metabolites, which have never been measured by a small, mobile device.
“This is really pushing the envelope in medical devices,” said Don Jones, vice president of wireless health, global strategy and market development for Qualcomm Labs, at his keynote speech at the Digital Health Summit. Such a device could be game changing, especially in developing countries that lack trained health professionals, he said.
Guidelines for the 42-month competition can be found on the Tricorder X Prize website.
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