Healthcare News & Insights

Contest aims to make Star Trek’s health IT real

Inspired by Star Trek’s fictional body-scanning tricorder device, a recently announced contest will offer a big prize for the invention of a mobile health scanner. 

This year’s edition of the X Prize, a global competition that aims to benefit humanity through invention, will offer $10 million to teams that can create an effective portable health scanner by 2014.

To be eligible, the device must be able to detect a set of 15 diseases to be named later and capture key health metrics such as blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse and temperature. The gadget itself must be portable, wireless and weigh at most five pounds.

The competition, announced at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, was inspired by Star Trek’s “tricorder” device, a tool that, among other things, was used by the TV series’ characters to quickly check crew members’ vital signs.

If successful entries are received, the top team will get $7 million, with a $2 million second prize and $1 million third prize, MSNBC reports. The money will be paid by the Qualcomm Foundation.

To learn more, visit the X Prize’s website here.

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