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article imageMillions could be won for a tool to diagnose better than doctors

The X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm on May 10, 2011 announced collaboration on the $10 million Tricorder X PRIZE competition to develop a mobile device capable of diagnosing what ails, better than, or as accurately as, a team of qualified medical doctors.
X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm are launching a bold joint mission, seeking Star-Trek-inspired technological innovations in medical point of care data and expert systems and converging cutting-edge advances in microfluidics, medical imaging, wireless sensors, cloud computing, technology usability and more.
Will there be a Tricorder in every hand?
What if consumers here on earth were able to purchase personal, hand-held, Tricorder-like medical diagnostic gadgets? Could this change empower multiplied healthy choices by masses of folks and stir up a society-shifting healthcare revolution? Reliable medical information and recommended actions for treatment and care could become widely, perhaps almost instantly, available -- and fantastically so, all at the touch of a few buttons, perhaps -- if such a nifty, ingenious contraption could be invented, produced and distributed.
OK, perhaps a few scanning sensor passes over the body might be necessary, too.
Health measurements and related options would become affordably accessible and readily understandable, if these Tricorders of yesterday’s science fiction really come to life in today’s electronic marketplace (like smart phones already have), according to the ambitious thinking behind this competition.
The upcoming competition's designers agree the winning tool, no matter what it looks like or gets called eventually, must enable any user anywhere to assess an ailment and learn if professional help is the best next step. Anyone using one of these handy, everyday Tricorder-type gizmos should be able to obtain competent, doable answers, easily and almost instantly, to the all-important question that inevitably arises with every disease or disorder: “What do I do next?”
One early contest booster is Star-Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's son Eugene Wesley "Rod" Roddenberry, Jr., who said he is thrilled so many experts now expect Star-Trek tech to become commonplace soon.
Prize partnerships cover four categories
There are four X PRIZE Foundation prize groups: Energy & Environment; Life Sciences; Education & Global Development; and Exploration (from Ocean to Deep Space.
Many prizes have been won already, such as: the $2 million Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X PRIZE CHALLENGE for advanced rocket development; the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE for creating safe, affordable, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPG energy equivalent (MPGe); and the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private, suborbital space flight.
But wait: The Tricorder X PRIZE competition’s design is still on the foundation and company drawing boards, with great expectations for an early 2012 launch.
The X PRIZE Foundation, founded in 1995, is a nonprofit organization with the stated mission of solving the world’s greatest challenges by creating global competitions to drive beneficial technological inventing and spinning-off, altogether worth far more over the long run than the giant-sized prizes awarded.
Qualcomm is a U.S. wireless telecommunications research and development company and major outsourcer of computer chip manufacturing.
More about X PRIZE Foundation, Qualcomm, Star trek, Tricorder tool, Tricorder
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