In the science fiction series “Star Trek” there is a device that fits into the hand and after a quick scan of the human body it manages to understand whether there is a health problem. It does not cure, but diagnoses without contact with the patient. Its name is tricoder.
In 2012, the corporation Qualcomm announced a prize of $ 10 million for the person who can invent it and produce it. There already are 10 finalists, including Bill Gates’ students, former NASA employees, students of the University “John Hopkins” and Cambridge, and “Boeing” engineers. They have until the summer of 2015 to develop a prototype and a few months later it will be subjected to tests.
There are serious requirements towards the tricoder. The information collection from the patient has to be painless. Cables and injections cannot be used. The scanning itself has to occur quickly, without the necessity of a medical practitioner to be present to perform the procedure. And initially it has to be able to detect at least 16 different diseases and injuries. From a broken bone to anaemia and to tuberculosis and diabetes – are part of the mandatory first time states that the tricoder has to recognize.