Any guess, any idea, any vision about the future of medical technology ? It will be something close to slick wireless diagnostic and treatment options that were once featured in the popular TV and movie incarnationsof Star Trek.
X Prize organizers want to encourage the creation of a personal diagnostic device that can do medical laboratory-quality testing in patientsâ homes. Over 260 teams of scientists and students are already in the process of landing a $10-million prize for inventing the worldâs first working tricorder, that miraculous cordless, wireless tool.
âWe now have generations of scientists and engineers who have seen and loved Star Trek and they put a lot of energy into making those technologies real,â said Mark Winter, director of the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize contest. This $10-million competition is called the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE. Its sponsors want to stimulate innovation and integration of precision diagnostic technologies, according to the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE website.The contest is to create a device that can wirelessly measure vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure and respiration, and also diagnose a set of 15 diseases with lab-replacing technologies and artificial intelligence.The original tricorder on the original Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry was a clunky-looking thing with a separate wireless sensor to wave around.
It was much bigger than a smartphone â more like a brick, really â though it neednât have been. The X Prize team is looking for a compact, affordable and accessible technology, perhaps something very much like a smartphone.
Targeted treatment is really the end of a process that begins with doctors and patients exchanging information, an area ripe for technology-driven change.Sensors or garments that are able to detect heart rate, respiration, temperature, inflammation and stress based on skin conductivity are already being developed, said Ho. Real-time monitoring of oxygen saturation, hormones, glucose, enzymes and proteins in the blood could be accomplished by an implanted device and transmitter, just one possible use for nanobots.