Isn’t it about time we had tricorders? You know tricorders, those little box devices they run around with on Star Trek which, when pointed at something, will tell you everything there is to know about it right down to the smallest molecule. The X Prize Foundation agrees, and they’re offering $7 million to the first person or organization who can successfully make one.
In case you’ve never heard of them before the X Prize Foundation is a group dedicated to advancing human technology breakthroughs. Mostly they do that by offering massive prizes to anyone who can pull off a specific technical marvel. In 2004 for instance they awarded the Ansari X Prize for the first non-government agent to launch a spacecraft.
This time they want medical advances. Basically what they’re describing is Star Trek’s medical tricorder, but here’s their detailed description of the device they’re hoping to encourage someone to develop:
As envisioned for this competition, the device will be a tool capable of capturing key health metrics and diagnosing a set of 15 diseases. Metrics for health could include such elements as blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature. Ultimately, this tool will collect large volumes of data from ongoing measurement of health states through a combination of wireless sensors, imaging technologies, and portable, non-invasive laboratory replacements.
The device can’t be some huge, lumbering monster. They’re looking for something easily handheld that medical staff can use effectively. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams to come up with one. $7 million for First Place, $2 million for Second Place, and $1 million for Third Place.
For more details visit the competition’s official site.