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article imageStar Trek-inspired tricorder can detect and diagnose diseases

By Karen Graham     Aug 9, 2017 in Health
Handheld devices similar to the tricorders used by Dr. McCoy to diagnose and treat diseases in the "Star Trek" movie franchise since the 1960s may soon become an essential part of every astronaut's tool kit
The winner of the four-year Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize competition, held in April this year, Final Frontier Medical Devices, walked away with a $2.5 million prize with their entry of a device that can monitor five real-time health vital signs and diagnose 34 diseases without a clinician, using artificial intelligence (AI).
The device, called DxtER, was developed by Final Frontier Medical Devices as part of Basil Leaf Technologies. DxtER was presented to the public during the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinician Lab Expo in San Diego on July 31. DxtER weighs less than five pounds and uses artificial intelligence. The A.I. learns from clinical emergency medicine with data analysis from actual patients.
Basil Leaf Labs
DxtER has a noninvasive monitor designed to measure blood sugar and white blood cell counts without drawing a blood sample. The monitor also collects data on vital signs, body chemistry, and biological functions, synthesizing the information in the device’s diagnostic engine.
Basil Leaf Technologies originally designed DxtER to prove it was possible to diagnose and monitor illnesses in the comfort of one's own home without a doctor being present. Basil Leaf developed algorithms for diagnosing 34 health conditions. Some of these conditions include diabetes, atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), urinary tract infection, sleep apnea, leukocytosis, pertussis, stroke, tuberculosis, and pneumonia.
The non-invasive monitoring system in DxtER is handled by custom-designed sensors that monitor vital signs, body chemistry, and biological functions. The sensors also function independently of the DxtER system. The system pulls together data from a patient’s personal and family medical history and physical exams, allowing the sensors to make an accurate assessment.
Basil Leaf Labs
Final Frontier Medical Devices is a Pennsylvania-based company led by brothers Dr. Basil Harris, an emergency medicine physician, and George Harris, a network engineer.
"Developed to monitor astronaut health on the International Space Station (ISS) and during long-term spaceflight, terrestrial applications for this groundbreaking technology include point-of-care (POC) diagnostics at a patient's bedside, in a doctor's office or hospital," NASA officials wrote in an rHealth fact sheet.
More about Tricorder, Star trek, TRIfunction reCORDER, medical device, Artificial intelligence
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