Do you hear that loud sound? It's the X Prize Foundation's challenge siren calling all tinkers to build a working mobile medical Tricorder. X Prize is offering $10 million dollars to the winner. Do you think you've got what it takes?
The Tricorder is a fictional device that was made famous in Star Trek. There are three variants of the device, but the one the X Prize Foundation cares about is the medical Tricorder, a mobile device that can accurately detect a patient's medical symptoms and then provide instructions on how to treat it.
Here's the official X Prize statement:
Today in the developed world, preventable medical errors in hospitals result in tens of thousands of deaths per year; preventable medication errors occur at least 1.5 million times per year; and, on average, adults receive only half of recommended care. In the developing world, billions of people have no access to medical care. The Tricorder X PRIZE will award $10 million to the team that develops a mobile solution that can inexpensively diagnose patients by combining expert systems and medical point-of-care data--such as lab-on-a-chip or wireless sensors, provide a recommended course of treatment, and upload all relevant data to the cloud. The prize aims to incentivize consumer empowerment in healthcare by extending the reach of health information and services to more people. As a result, seven billion people around the world can have access to low-cost, reliable, medical diagnostics, which will ultimately prevent pandemics and save lives.
With smartphones and tablets as powerful and cheap as they are today, modding them with extra sensors and writing intelligent apps to help diagnose medical problems shouldn't be too hard of a challenge. Teaming up with Qualcomm, X Prize will kick of the competition early next year. Any takers for the $10 milion grand prize?