“It’s unbelievable,” marvels director J.J. Abrams. “If you had told me when I was a kid that there would ever be something at an office in which I worked that could print out a 3-D spaceship model, I would have never stopped following you around asking you questions about how to get it and where does it come from.”
San Diego State University announced Monday it is jumping into the fray of a major competition to create something people have only seen in science fiction: a tricorder, the portable medical scanner fans have seen on "Star Trek." SDSU's X-Prize team says in a year it will have a prototype tricorder device capable of scanning your body and detecting certain health issues.
Almost as soon as Jack Andraka, a sophomore at Glen Burnie’s North County High School, won the top prize at last year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, he’d decided on his next project. Not satisfied with winning $100,000 for developing a five-cent paper strip that stands a chance of becoming the world’s best—and cheapest—test for pancreatic cancer, Andraka set his sights on something bigger: Qualcomm’s $10-million Tricorder XPRIZE.
Computer chips and silicon micromachines are ready for your body. It’s time to decide how you’ll take them: implantable, ingestible, or intimate contact. Every flavor now exists. Some have FDA approval and some are seeking it. Others are moving quickly out of the research lab stage. With the round one Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize entries due in one year, we’re soon to see a heavy dose of sensors tied to the mobile wireless health revolution.
The company is one of many that compares its technology, with its noninvasive, no contact scanning, to Star Trek’s fictional tricorder. Arkin said the company has not yet decided whether to enter the competition for the Tricorder X Prize.
What the future of medical technology looks like is anybody’s guess, but it won’t be far from the slick wireless diagnostic and treatment options featured in any of the popular TV and movie incarnations of Star Trek.
Prevention not cure has always been good health advice but the trick has been to diagnose early enough. Now a range of medical technologies for use both inside and outside the body may give prevention the upper hand and close the gap between diagnosis and cure.
When illness strikes it's not always easy to set up a doctors appointment, but soon you might not have to. A portable device that can instantly take vitals and detect disease might be ion the way.
News that the FDA has cleared iRobot’s medical robots for use in hospitals stoked interest across the web, but ‘robodocs’ are just one way telemedicine could keep healthcare costs down, improve care and increase access to patients.
A couple weeks ago, my tween daughter came running out of the bathroom with a copy of the super-serious British news magazine, The Economist. Can you tell she lives with a couple of geeky-journalist parents?