Medical Tricorders

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A medical tricorder is ideally a device that is able to scan the human body and deduce whether the person/patient is sick in anyway. These devices have appeared in many sci-fi TV shows and movies such as Star Trek as future technology that was impossible in the current time period. But fortunately, due to today’s rapid technological advances it is possible to create a device that comes close to the ones seen in Star Trek.

Medical Tricorders in this generation is a rapidly growing field and many prototypes have already been created. A company known as the X Prize foundation has offered ten million dollars in order to spur innovation to anyone who can be successful in creating a tricorder that can diagnose a patient with fifteen different conditions. In the future these devices are going to be produced in order to sell to consumers so people will be able to diagnose themselves instead of going to doctors.

Many groups have already created a few devices but none yet have made one that wins the prize money. For example, a group called Mobisante created a smart phone ultrasound attachment that can be connected to an iPhone and used to see the fetus inside the womb. Another group called AliveCor has created an iPhone app that can do ECGs. Another example of a impressive tricorder was made by IbgStar which was a glucose monitoring system which also attaches to a smartphone. But the two biggest medical tricorder prototypes are the Scanadu Scout and the ScanaduFlu. The Scanadu Scout can be placed at the temples of a person can is used to measure respiration, blood oxygenation, and more. The ScanaduFlu on the other hand can find upper respiratory infections.

But there are still a few problems that prevent medical tricorders from actually being mass-produced and sold to consumers. The FDA doesn’t even have guidelines yet on how to make these devices and they estimate that they should be up by the end of 2012 or 2013. After that companies will be able...
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