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Medicine Sci-Fi Technology

First Prototype of a Working Tricorder Unveiled At SXSW 61

the_newsbeagle writes The $10 million Tricorder X-prize is getting to the "put up or shut up" stage: The 10 finalists must turn in their working devices on June 1st for consumer testing. At SXSW last week, the finalist team Cloud DX showed off its prototype, which includes a wearable collar, a base station, a blood-testing stick, and a scanning wand. From the article: "The XPrize is partnering with the medical center at the University of California, San Diego on that consumer testing, since it requires recruiting more than 400 people with a variety of medical conditions. Grant Campany, director of the Tricorder XPrize, said he’s looking forward to getting those devices into real patients hands. 'This will be a practical demonstration of what the future of medicine will be like,' said Campany at that same SXSW talk, 'so we can scale it up after competition.'"
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First Prototype of a Working Tricorder Unveiled At SXSW

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  • by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @05:35PM (#49323543)

    But CBS ordered it removed from the app store:

    http://www.geek.com/mobile/cbs... [geek.com]

  • The XPrize is partnering with the medical center at the University of California, San Diego on that consumer testing, since it requires recruiting more than 400 people with a variety of medical conditions.

    Yeah, and are these patients consenting to this? And what does the TOS say about who owns the data?

    Sorry, but I interpret this as "we're going to give your private medical information to a corporation to test their technology, once they have it there's no going back".

    Sounds incredibly stupid from a privac

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      "Yeah, and are these patients consenting to this?"

      I'd guess they'd have to sign a waiver..

      "And what does the TOS say about who owns the data?"

      Is that Terms Of Service, or The Original Series (since we are talking Star Trek)

      Anyway there already exist those wheeled 'nurse on a stick' machines that measure vitals, I am not sure how much this tricorder adds to the diagnostics.
      What is needed is connectivity between those machines and the software that does the charting.

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @07:39PM (#49324115)

      You know that's how virtually all large clinical trials are done, right? There are lots of regulations, including international conventions, governing medical research. Subjects have to provide informed consent, and part of the "informed" part involves specifying what the data is going to be used for. If it weren't being done through a university's clinical research program, a la Facebook, you'd have a point.

    • Yeah, and are these patients consenting to this?

      Why are you assuming they aren't? The summary says "recruiting," not "press-ganging."

  • easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @05:39PM (#49323571)
    Anyone can build a working Tricorder as long as they get to define what a Tricorder is. In this case it sounds like people are taking any medical technology and slapping the Tricorder name on it. I don't remember the Trek Tricorder including a wearable collar (I assume as opposed to the other type of collar). I might as well call an app that interacts with a Bluetooth wrist strap a Tricorder.
    • Of course, I don't think any of us would want to be exposed to a working Tricorder -- they worked by bombarding the subject with EM radiation, including a bunch in the "radioactive" spectrum. In real life, the thing was likely to diagnose you as being in the early stages of cancer due to the tricorder itself.

      So a few extra pieces to replace some of the EM stuff are welcome in my book, even if it's not quite as simple to use.

      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

        Depends how much radiation is being emitted. Virtually everything is radioactive to some degree. A small amount of radiation is OK.

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        Like a flashlight! Oh, you say it was supposed to emit x-rays as well? So like a CRT then.

      • Re:easy (Score:4, Informative)

        by RabidReindeer ( 2625839 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @09:28PM (#49324599)

        Of course, I don't think any of us would want to be exposed to a working Tricorder -- they worked by bombarding the subject with EM radiation, including a bunch in the "radioactive" spectrum. In real life, the thing was likely to diagnose you as being in the early stages of cancer due to the tricorder itself..

        Did they? I missed that episode.

        I always thought that the ideal tricorder could accept a broad spectrum of natural radiations in 3 dimensions and use that to construct a bio-chemical-mechanical model of the subject. Thus the name "tricorder" being equally used for both medical purposes (medical tricorder) and general exploration (for example, Spock's tricorder).

        Think about it. Every nanosecond we are being constantly bombarded by radio waves from Jupiter, the Sun, and the stars, cosmic rays, neutrinos, natural radioactivity from the ground we stand on and the air we breathe, light at various frequencies, including UV and IR, sound waves of all frequencies and that's not even factoring in man-made stuff like WKRP AM/FM, the local police/fire/rescue/transportation/etc and business channels or cell phones. Some of that stuff goes straight through, some reflects and/or refracts, some is absorbed selectively by various tissues, some is blocked. All you need is sensors, a computer powerful enough to correlate it, and software that can reduce it to usable data.

        • All you need is sensors, a computer powerful enough to correlate it, and software that can reduce it to usable data.

          You make it sound so easy!

          • Well, All You Have To Do Is...

            • Barclay: Computer, begin new program. Create as follows: workstation chair. Now, create a standard alphanumeric console, positioned for the left hand. Now an iconic display console, positioned for the right hand. Tie both consoles into the Enterprise main computer core, utilizing neural-scan interface.
              Enterprise Computer: There is no such device on file.
              Barclay: No problem. Here's how you build it.

    • Re:easy (Score:5, Informative)

      by Verdatum ( 1257828 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @05:54PM (#49323651)
      The X-Prize competition decides what a Tricorder is. Their guidelines are here: http://tricorder.xprize.org/si... [xprize.org]
    • I also don't remember a blood testing stick either. And what the hell does the stick or collar actually test for? The Tricorder could measure a crapload of medical conditions, but something tells me that this device won't even be capable of measuring someone's blood pressure.
      • I would hope that the wand at least makes a sound when activated...

      • See the image on this page. [mesimedical.com]

        I can't remember if there was a wand in every version of the tricorder, but I could have sworn I saw McCoy using the wand also.

        Not that we want to get TOO bound up in limiting a really useful medical device to the exact form factor of a TV show prop...

        • You're probably correct about the wand, but I don't believe McCoy ever used a tricorder. If memory serves, he placed patients under a device with the Gian monitor.

          I believe the tricorder is a TNG thing, especially since it seemed to composed of three parts.

    • Re:easy (Score:5, Informative)

      by Wraithlyn ( 133796 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @07:44PM (#49324139)

      The contest requirements [xprize.org] are very specific on the device's testing capabilities, here they are:

      The Core Set (Qualifying requires 5/13, Final Round requires all 13):
      1. Anemia
      2. Urinary tract infection, lower
      3. Diabetes
      4. Atrial fibrillation
      5. Stroke
      6. Sleep apnea, obstructive
      7. Tuberculosis
      8. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
      9. Pneumonia
      10. Otitis ("ear infection")
      11. Leukocytosis
      12. Hepatitis A
      13. Absence of Core Conditions

      The Elective Set (Qualifying requires 1, Final Round requires 3):
      1. Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
      2. Hypertension
      3. Mononucleosis
      4. Allergens (airborne)
      5. Hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism
      6. Food-borne illness
      7. Shingles
      8. Melanoma
      9. Strep throat
      10. Cholesterol Screen
      11. HIV Screen
      12. Osteoporosis

      The Vital Signs Set (Qualifying requires 3, Final Round requires all 5):
      1. Blood pressure
      2. Electrocardiography (heart rate/variability)
      3. Body temperature
      4. Respiratory rate
      5. Oxygen Saturation

      • by rossdee ( 243626 )

        And this device will be able to test for these conditions in a few seconds? That would be really cool, since current tests for some of these take a day or more.
        or multiple tests over time.

        EG the TB test (yes I know its not called a manteau any more) has to be read between 48 - 72 hours. Other items on those lists need a culture to be examined after 24 hours.

        Disclaimer: IAOACNA (I am only a CNA)

        • And this device will be able to test for these conditions in a few seconds? That would be really cool, since current tests for some of these take a day or more.

          How did you think Spock learned to stand so still?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 23, 2015 @05:48PM (#49323611)

    I called it a tricorder

  • The top two stories on Slashdot right now are a working Tricorder at SXSW and Boeing patenting "Star Wars Style Force Field Technology".

    I get that it's "News for Nerds" but can we please try to appeal to a readership that doesn't think the holocaust is the name of the new VR headset from Samsung?

  • Can it generate a sub-sonic wave tuned to harmonize with a rock wall and cause it to crumble?
  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @06:36PM (#49323843)

    ... you're asking me to work with equipment which is hardly very far ahead of stone knives and bearskins.

    I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins....

  • The medical scanner needs to be fashioned from an old salt shaker.

  • How is this prototype a tricoder? last time I checked a tricoder was a standalone device which didn't require other devices attached to people's bodies...
  • Smartphones already are capable of measuring three different things, and with a bluetooth measuring device for any other measurements you might want to make, are pretty much what a tricorder appears to be, except they fit in your pocket.

  • No gadget that contains a needle (syringe type) should be called a tricorder in my book.

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