Thursday, September 5, 2013

Multi-sensor and app could help individuals detect health problems early

Making it easier to monitor patients’ vital signs not only helps warn healthcare professionals of potential conditions, but also reduces the burden on healthcare systems, as the VISI Mobile System has demonstrated. Designed to help individuals keep track of their own health, the Scanadu Scout is a palm-sized device that is packed with sensors to aid the early detection of a number of conditions. The idea behind the innovation is inspired by the fictional ‘tricorder‘ – a device in the Star Trek series that can scan and collect data about living things. By placing the Scanadu Scout to their forehead for around ten seconds, users can get detailed information about their heart beat and ECG, core body temperature, blood oxygen and blood pressure, breathing and emotional state, delivered via Bluetooth to their smartphone. Scanadu is a Singularity University startup based at NASA Research Park in California and the hardware for the device is based on RTOS Micrium platform, currently being used in the Mars Rover Curiosity mission. However, the current prototype requires clinical trials for accuracy as well as approval from Food and Drugs Administration before it goes to market. The Scanadu Scout has already raised over four times its initial USD 100,000 target in the first week of its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and the team is hoping the device is chosen as the winner of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, which would earn them a further USD 10 million to make the tricorder a reality.

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