A family from Pennsylvania, USA, have recently led a research team to victory as part of an innovative competition. X-Prize Foundation were the non-profit organisation who decided to get the ball rolling, and set the world the challenge of coming up with a medical device, just like the Tricorder in Star Trek, that had the ability to diagnoses a person almost instantaneous.
The winning team go by the name of Final Frontier Medical Devices, and have won a sum of $2.5 Million for their efforts.
What exactly was the competition?
The competition was set by X-Prize Foundation, called ‘Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize competition’. They wanted people from all overions. It would be possible for the device to take up to 24 hours to make the diagnosis, however no other intervention, by human or machine, would be allowed as an aid.
Who won the competition?
The family led team who won consisted of two brothers; Dr Basil Harris, an emergency physician, and George Harris, a network engineer. Two other siblings of theirs were also involved in the creation of their winning device.
What is their version of the Tricorder like?
Their version of Star Trek’s Tricorder is called DxtER, which through non-invasive sensors has the ability to accurately diagnose all 13 of the diseases that are required in the brief. Using a database of medical information, the device is actually able to compare and contrast information and at present diagnose 34 medical conditions.
While the purpose behind this competition might at first appear to be a novelty factor, the truth is far from it. As well as testing human ingenuity, the aim really was to have an outcome that was a portable, handheld device which would diagnose the medical conditions. The prize money won would go onto fund further research and development in the device, with the help of other research experts.
The fact that this is something both lightweight and portable, as well as being inexpensive, promises massive breakthroughs of potential for it’s use all over the world, including third world countries.