Every geek in the known universe knows what a 'tricorder' is, but for you uninitiated it is that nifty gadget you've seen used at some point almost every episode of Star Trek. It was capable of scanning for just about anything from minerals on planets to health issues in patients. Unfortunately that is where real world science and Sci-Fi have yet to meet...for now that is!
A competition with a $10 million purse was launched back in 2012 to spark interest in creating such a device. Dubbed the competition, dubbed the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize, tasked teams with the challenge of creating a device that can quickly and accurately diagnose 16 health conditions. The devices had to work in a non-invasive way, be portable, re-usable, and easy enough to operate that a medical professional need not stand by (essentially easy enough for anyone to use).
In total Twenty-one proposals were received, and from those the XPrize judging panel chose 10 finalists for 7 different countries.Now comes the hard part as the finalists must deliver prototype Tricorders by May. They will be tested and evaluated for several months, in part by real patients.
The winner, slated to be announced in January 2016, will get $10 million in prize money put up by the Qualcomm Foundation. The San Diego wireless giant hopes the competition jump-starts the mobile health industry.
The finalists are:
- Aezon of Rockville, Md., student engineers from Johns Hopkins University partnering with the Center for Bioengineering Innovation &Design. (Team Aezon YouTube Video)
- DMI of Cambridge, Mass., led by Dr. Eugene Chan of the DNA Medicine Institute, partnering with NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (Team DMI YouTube Video)
- Final Frontier Medical Devices of Paoli, Pa., led by the founders of Basil Leaf Technologies. (Team Final Frontier Medical Devices YouTube Video)
- SCANADU of Moffett Field, a Silicon Valley startup led by technology entrepreneur Walter De Brouwer. (Team SCANADU YouTube Video)
- CloudDX, a Canadian team from medical device manufacturer Biosign.(Team CloudDX YouTube Video)
- Danvantri, a team from technology manufacturer American Megatrends India.(Team Danvantri YouTube Video)
- Dynamical Biomarkers Group, a Taiwan-based team of physicians, scientists and engineers led by Harvard Medical School professor Chung-Kang Peng. (Team Dynamical Biomarkers YouTube Video)
- MESI Simplifying Diagnostics, a Slovenia-based team from medical device maker MESI. (Team MESI Simplifying Diagnostics YouTube Video)
- SCANurse, a London-based group from diagnostic medical manufacturer SCANurse. (Team SCANurse YouTube Video)
- Zensor, a Northern Ireland-based team from clinical sensor and electrode company Intelesens. (Team Zensor YouTube Video)
For further details on each of the teams can be found here and to view the mock-ups of their entries checkout the full slideshow via InformationWeek.com.