Dr. Goel and her team are among the contestants in a competition that will award $10 million to those who come up with a Tricorder, a hand-held device that'll identify a list of 15 diseases. It's the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE.
Is it true that you're working on a "tricorder" scanner like the one Dr. McCoy of Star Trek used to perform patient diagnoses?
There actually is a $10 million dollar Tricorder XPRIZE competition going on. We are involved in that--and are considered by many to be the leaders.
There’s a David vs. Goliath story unfolding in the land of bits, bytes and apps. It involves a gaggle of students from San Diego State University’s respected but modest science program. They squared off against some of the largest and richest schools in the country in the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a competition to build a portable, wireless device that can diagnose and monitor a variety of diseases.
Today, there are several companies vying for the $7 million top prize of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition. According to the guidelines, entrants must be able to “continuously monitor five vital signs, namely blood pressure, electrocardiography (i.e. ECG, or heart rate/variability), body temperature, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation” as well as “screen for over a dozen different conditions, including whooping cough, hypertension, mononucleosis, shingles, melanoma, HIV, and osteoporosis.”
Qualcomm, the No. 1 smartphone chipmaker, has created a $10 million prize for the developers who can come up with a consumer health scanner most closely resembling the tricorder device of Star Trek fame. The competition attracted 34 teams from nine countries, according to the San Diego-based company, which is making several big bets on wireless health technologies. The 10 finalists of the Tricorder XPrize will present their ideas in August.
The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE has incentivised and spurred teams from around the world to develop consumer devices for home-based monitoring, connecting mobile diagnostics, artificial intelligence and beyond. One entrant, Scanadu Scout, a sensor designed by Yves Béhar, is due to come to market this year after crowdfunding was used to fund research and initial clinical trials.
Now a Canadian company and 20 other teams from around the world are vying for a $10-million XPRIZE by trying to replicate Dr. McCoy's "tricorder" and go where no real-world medical device has gone before. The entry by the Cloud DX team from the Toronto-based medical devices company Biosign (TSX-V:BIO) is based on an existing product called Pulsewave, a wrist-worn monitor that measures blood pressure, heart rate and pulse rhythm irregularities, as well as divining the wearer's respiration rate. Readings from the USB-powered wrist monitor appear on a small computer screen.
Wouldn't it be amazing if we all had a personal medical scanning device like Star Trek's tricorder? Now the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is hoping to make it happen. We spoke to some contestants to learn how they're planning to win part of the $10 million in prize money.
Suppose you were out on a small boat, 100 mi from shore, with a few friends. Suddenly, one of them begins coughing hard and complaining of aches and pains and chills. It could just be the start of a bad cold, but he also seems to be running a fever, which might signal the onset of the flu. But it could also be something more serious, like bacterial pneumonia, that might require hospital care. How would you know?
With the Qualifying Round of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition only a few months away, we had a chance to catch up with Aezon, a Johns Hopkins-based team vying for a position in the Final Round of the competition. One of the younger teams in the competition, Aezon has already spun out a start-up, Aegle, representing one component of their three-pronged approach. We had the chance to speak with Neil Rens and Krzysztof Sitko, two of the fifteen members on the team, about their project and how it’s going.