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To boldly go where no medical device has gone before!

Rejoice all you Star Trek fans!  The race is on to produce the first fully functioning medical tricorder  – a handheld diagnostic device for those of you not familiar with the epic space adventure.  If a winner is declared, the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize will be $10 million. 

Full details of the competition, as well as application forms, can be found on the website of the X Prize Foundation at http://www.qualcommtricorderxprize.org/.  The criteria are few, but challenging:

  • The device must weigh less than 5 pounds (handheld, remember?)
  • The device must be user-friendly (the intended audience is consumers, not health care professionals)
  • The device must be able to accurately diagnose a set of 15 diseases independently (no input from any kind of health care professional or provider)
  • The device must be safe to use (no chance of electric shock, chemical exposure, punctures, infection)

The goal of the competition is to inspire a technological breakthrough that has the potential to revolutionize health care access and delivery by putting the necessary tools in the hands of the patient – literally!

To quote another famous Enterprise captain – “Make it so!”

Source:  Page, D.  Beam me up, Scotty!  Hospitals & Health Networks.  86(6):37.  http://www.hhnmag.com/hhnmag_app/jsp/articledisplay.jsp?dcrpath=HHNMAG/Article/data/06JUN2012/0612HHN_FEA_Wireless&domain=HHNMAG

X Prize Foundation.  http://www.xprize.org/

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