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Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE Finalists Announced


Posted in Mobile Health by MDDI Staff on August 27, 2014

A slideshow of the 10 teams named as finalists in the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE that is encouraging the development of a new, mobile diagnostic digital health device to empower consumers.


The much-awaited list of finalists for the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE has finally been released. They come from all over the world - U.S., India, Taiwan, Canada, England, Slovenia and Northern Ireland. 

Taking inspiration from Star Trek's tricorder device, the global competition - a partership between Qualcomm Foundation and XPrize Foundation - is meant to disrupt the healthcare industry by encouraging the development of an mhealth device "that will give consumers access to their state of health in the palm of their hand." The goal is also "to make medical diagnoses independent of a physician or healthcare provider." 

The competition was announced back in January 2012. Now, more than two and a half years later, the finalists have been named.

A slideshow below presents the teams in alphabetical order. The photos, where available, come from the XPRIZE Foundation.

Aezon 

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Team Leader: Tatiana Rypinski, a biomedical engineering student at Johns Hopkins University.

Solution: Aezon's solution has four parts that combine to form an integrated system. The prototype device - the vitals monitoring unit - is being built by a startup called Aeglee and is able to continuously track ECG, spO2, blood pressure, and respiration rate. The vitals monitoring unit, a wearable device, is able to acquire all this data from a single location on the body.

The second piece is the lab box, a portable device that functions as a reader of test cartridges. Each cartridge includes tests for a number of common maladies including streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) and urinary tract infection among others. 

A companion smartphone app collects and analyzes data from the vitals monitoring unit and the lab box. The app tracks all the data and prompts consumers to do relevant tests.

All the data is stored in cloud and can be shared. 

 Lab Box 

 


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Were the Rules Changed?

Looking at the original qualifications for applying for the XPRIZE, no more than one or two of these should even be qualified as a "finalist", and very poor ones at that. What happened at Qualcomm? Did they find that their goal was totally unachievable with current technology, and to save face they lowered their expectations post-submission? Or, was it that they had to list the top ten even though most of the applicants could not read the contest qualifications? Certainly, everyone loved Star Trek, but it needs to known that fifty years later reality is no where close to the then science fiction. All this hype on what are all abject failures, again, according to the original XPRIZE rules, is, frankly, embarrassing.

Paul Stein