The $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition launched back in 2012 with a view towards creating a consumer-centric mobile device capable of diagnosing and interpreting 15 medical conditions and capturing five vital health metrics. Today, things are progressing to the next stage as the ten final competing teams are announced.
The 3.5 year international competition has used the fictional Star Trek ‘tricorder‘ to help bring the vision to the masses, with 34 teams from around the world registering their interest by the end of 2013. From that initial batch, 21 submitted entries, and today this has been whittled down to the final 10.
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During the initial qualifying round, each entrant was asked to submit something that addressed safety and user experience, alongside a health assessment evaluation. The finalists span a range of backgrounds, covering non-profits and academia to startups and manufacturers, and are as follows:
- Aezon (Rockville, Md.). A team of student engineers from Johns Hopkins University partnering with the Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design.
- CloudDX (Mississauga, Canada). A team from medical devices manufacturer Biosign.
- Danvantri (Chennai, India). A team from technology manufacturer American Megatrends India.
- DMI (Cambridge, Mass.). A team from the DNA Medicine Institute partnering with NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Dynamical Biomarkers Group (Zhongli City, Taiwan). A team of physicians, scientists and engineers.
- Final Frontier Medical Devices (Paoli, Pa.). A team led by the founders of Basil Leaf Technologies—an emergency room physician and a network engineer.
- MESI Simplifying diagnostics (Ljubljana, Slovenia). A team from diagnostic medical device manufacturer MESI.
- SCANADU (Moffett Field, Calif.). A team from Silicon Valley-based start-up SCANADU.
- SCANurse (London, England). A team from diagnostic medical manufacturer SCANurse.
- Zensor (Belfast, Ireland). A team from clinical sensor and electrode company Intelesens.
Here’s a quick peek at some of the mock-ups of the proposed Tricorders.
“The technologies being created for the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE can have an exponential, global impact, not only on remotely diagnosing diseases, but on a myriad of other medical areas, including continuous health monitoring, disease prevention and chronic disease management,” explained Rick Valencia, Sr. Vice President & General Manager, Qualcomm Life. “It will certainly be exciting to see these devices materialize as we move closer to the competition’s end.”
As we approach the final stages of the competition, the entrants will go up against each other for diagnostic experience evaluations, as well consumer testing, which is scheduled for around mid-to-late 2015. The competition is due to conclude in early 2016.
XPRIZE was launched way back in 1995, and specializes in “solving the world’s Grand Challenges” through establishing high-profile incentive-based prizes, covering Learning, Exploration, Energy & Environment, Global Development, and Life Sciences.