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Qualcomm offers $10 million for working Tricorder

Qualcomm offers $10 million for working Tricorder

Qualcomm's Tricorder X PRIZE offers $10 million to the team that creates the best real-world Star Trek Tricorder.

Chipmaker Qualcomm, known for its system-on-chip designs that pack general purpose processing, graphics processing, GPS, 3G, LTE, FM, Bluetooth and more into smartphones and tablets, has announced a new project: to create a real-world Star Trek Tricorder.

Dubbed the Tricorder X PRIZE - and jointly organised with the X PRIZE Foundation, most famous for its Ansari X PRIZE award of $10 million for the first private suborbital space flight - Qualcomm's idea is to offer up a chunk of cash in the hopes that someone will be able to take the concept of a highly-portable health-monitoring device - the Star Trek Tricorder - and make it a reality.

'There is a dire need to improve access to healthcare globally and provide consumers with an opportunity to be active participants in their own health,' explained Peter Diamandis, chair and chief executive of the X PRIZE foundation in a joint presentation with Qualcomm chair and chief executive Paul Jacobs at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. 'The Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE will incent the creation of technologies that can empower the consumer with the ability to decide when, where and how to seek health information and care.'

With a $10 million top prize, there's certainly incentive for people to participate; and all you have to do to scoop the cash is be the team that most accurately diagnoses a set of 15 diseases across a sample of 30 consumers in three days. Bonus points are awarded for providing the information in a useful manner alongside logging of health metrics including blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature.

While such a tool would be of great use in the hands of a trained professional, Qualcomm has bigger plans: the Tricorder would, instead, be made available for untrained personnel to self-diagnose ailments. Once an illness is diagnosed, the user can be provided with information on what to do next; whether that's to seek medical attention or simply to drink lots of fluids and go to bed.

'Health care today certainly falls far short of the vision portrayed in Star Trek. By sponsoring the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE competition, the Qualcomm Foundation will stimulate the imaginations of entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and doctors to create wireless health services and technologies that improve lives, increase consumer access to healthcare and drive efficiencies in the healthcare system,' Jacobs added. 'This competition will accelerate the development of tools that can empower consumers to take charge of their own bodies and manage their own care.'

More information on the contest is available on the official website.

Tempted to give it a go, or do you think $10 million could do a lot more good in other areas of healthcare? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

12 Comments

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RedFlames 13th January 2012, 13:10 Quote
Well we already have the needle-less syringes, hend-held communicators, tablets and touch screen controls and soon we [may] have the tricorder...

what Star Trek teach are they going to try and recreate next? my guess may be the replicator
ledbythereaper 13th January 2012, 13:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
Well we already have the needle-less syringes, hend-held communicators, tablets and touch screen controls and soon we [may] have the tricorder...

what Star Trek teach are they going to try and recreate next? my guess may be the replicator

Except that even we we focused all of the sun's power on one spot, that wouldn't be enough energy to even make an ounce of matter.
Cruelinios 13th January 2012, 13:36 Quote
Seven of Nine would be the best technology to replicate ... ziiiip
RedFlames 13th January 2012, 13:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledbythereaper
Except that even we we focused all of the sun's power on one spot, that wouldn't be enough energy to even make an ounce of matter.

I didn't mean one working *exactly* the same way as in ST which never *made* matter, they create stuff using a pool of resources with any leftovers [broken items, leftover food etc.] put back into the device and de constituted and returned to that resource pool. </ST nerd>

Plus the replicator could be summed up as a [albeit advanced] vending machine... and we already have those...

The [real world] thing that sprang to mind and made me think 'replicator' was the lab grown 'meat'.
Lenderz 13th January 2012, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledbythereaper
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
Well we already have the needle-less syringes, hend-held communicators, tablets and touch screen controls and soon we [may] have the tricorder...

what Star Trek teach are they going to try and recreate next? my guess may be the replicator

Except that even we we focused all of the sun's power on one spot, that wouldn't be enough energy to even make an ounce of matter.

A replicator doesn't make matter, it reorders matter.

IIRC from my geeky youth, it used teleportation technology (which already exists to some extent, we've managed Quantum teleportation, and in 1998 IBM successfully teleported a photon) to change bonds and re-order matter into something else.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/05/25/physicists-achieve-quantum-teleportation-across-a-distance-of-10-miles/
fodder 13th January 2012, 16:16 Quote
Hmmmm, this is going to be almost impossible. The human body is a highly complex, and variable, entity. Diagnosis is rarely an exact art, especially with pathologies. Trauma would be relatively simple given the disruption to healthy tissues. A space occupying lesion (lump, put very simply) takes a certain amount of imaging and biopsy before diagnoses can be accurately given. A lot of pathologies overlap so much in their 'typical' presentation it can be extremely difficult to make an accurate diagnoses even with modern imaging and blood analysis.

One persons symptoms doesn't always represent everybodies symptoms. For instance, I have a patient who had her thyroid removed. Typically, her symptoms prior to removal would be insomnia, insatiable appetite, weight loss, emotional lability.. the list goes on. All she had was occasional tingling in hands and feet. Blood pressure was normal, everything was normal apart from an elevated thyroid hormone.

No machine, no matter how clever, will be able to replace an experienced clinician fully. They lack the intuition and only play a numbers game.
RedFlames 13th January 2012, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fodder
snip

again, you're assuming they want a device that's exactly like in star trek, that can diagnose just about anything. They're after a device that can detect a small list of things [and these most likely produce easily identifiable antibodies/symptoms/whatever that are easily attributable to the illness]. Most of the tech required is probably already available, the 'trick' will be condensing it all into a hand-held device.

Plus even the givers of the prize aren't expecting a 'winner' any time soon.
Shabing 13th January 2012, 19:23 Quote
If a tricorder gave a diagnosis, they wouldn't have a doctor on starships. It's just a diagnostic tool, like a blood pressure cuff, or a heart rate monitor.

And yes, I know its just a tv program.
debs3759 13th January 2012, 21:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shabing
And yes, I know its just a tv program.

I always thought it was a documentary sent from the future (possibly using Borg technology) :)
whamio 14th January 2012, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fodder
Hmmmm, this is going to be almost impossible. The human body is a highly complex, and variable, entity. Diagnosis is rarely an exact art, especially with pathologies. Trauma would be relatively simple given the disruption to healthy tissues. A space occupying lesion (lump, put very simply) takes a certain amount of imaging and biopsy before diagnoses can be accurately given. A lot of pathologies overlap so much in their 'typical' presentation it can be extremely difficult to make an accurate diagnoses even with modern imaging and blood analysis.

One persons symptoms doesn't always represent everybodies symptoms. For instance, I have a patient who had her thyroid removed. Typically, her symptoms prior to removal would be insomnia, insatiable appetite, weight loss, emotional lability.. the list goes on. All she had was occasional tingling in hands and feet. Blood pressure was normal, everything was normal apart from an elevated thyroid hormone.

No machine, no matter how clever, will be able to replace an experienced clinician fully. They lack the intuition and only play a numbers game.
whamio 14th January 2012, 13:06 Quote
why the "trained " i see uses a laptop askng questions fron it while filling in the diagnostic part fron the simple instrument scale cuff etc... the diag. equipment is available in any drug store. it's going to happen..get outta the way
LordPyrinc 15th January 2012, 05:21 Quote
Sounds ambitious, but I can think of ten million motivating reasons to try it. For myself, I'll stick to writing fiction in the hopes of making my fortune down that path.
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