The Star Trek Tricorder-that little gadget they used on the show to automatically give the doctor on board the ship information about a person’s health in a variety of areas-will be coming soon to a drug store near you. Readings from the tricorder will be able to be sent from any location directly to your doctor via a smartphone. Scanadu, the real-life name of the once-fictional, futuristic device, has been in the funding stages on the website indiegogo, and recently, the company owners announced that they’ve been successful in raising a total of 14.7 million dollars, which will bring the company into the phase of seeking FDA approval for the device.
The hand-held unit looks almost like a miniature smoke detector, and will be able to gather information about a patient’s vital signs in mere seconds. Patients will be able to scan for respiration and pulse rate, blood pressure, oxygenation and body temperature. The results will be transferred to the person’s smart phone, and can then be sent to the doctor directly. The company owners say the device should eliminate a significant amount of unnecessary doctor and emergency room visits.
The video on the company’s website makes it clear that the tricorder-like device will also do a whole lot more than just read a person’s vital signs. The video shows a father scanning a red rash on the trunk of his child’s body. In seconds, the device returns a diagnosis of a benign condition called roseola, recommends that no doctor’s visit is needed and says that the child should rest at home until the rash clears up.
In another scene, the father is scanning his daughter’s head area and then checks off other symptoms the girl is experiencing. The device is able to perform a urinalysis with a test strip provided. The gadget also detects a high fever, and indicates to the family that the girl has a urinary tract infection and needs to be taken immediately to the emergency room.
The device also delivers alerts about infectious diseases in the customer’s area, and what steps should be taken to ensure maximum protection against contagion It also provides data about what shots and vaccines are needed for each individual, and gives information about the person’s doctor or closest urgent care facility along with directions.
The video goes on to say “We’re building a way for people to check their bodies as often as they check their email,” and shows a man walking into an office building, stopping, looking at his phone and then smiling. In all instances, the people in the video are wearing a small triangular white sticker on their necks. This presumably interfaces with the device by delivering the necessary information about the various readings the device can perform.
The company features numerous testimonials on its website, with customers exploring the prototype calling it “revolutionary,” and “amazing.” The Star Trek real life tricorder, Scanadu, will be coming soon to a drug store near you. It will retail for $199.
By: Rebecca Savastio