Turning a Star Trek Vision Into Reality

Those of us in the medical research community think of ourselves as contributors to patient heathcare both in the areas of disease diagnosis and treatment. However, our contributions are not always recognized and it can be challenging to directly correlate the results of our experiments with a practical medical application. However, I believe that a new research challenge issued by the X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm Foundation may change all that and give medical researchers the recognition they deserve.

According to the announcement, the goal of the challenge will be for teams to leverage technology innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence and wireless sensing – much like the medical Tricorder of Star Trek® fame – to make medical diagnoses independent of a physician or healthcare provider.

Here’s a Clip of Star Trek Tricorder Mark VII Medical as seen in Star Trek TNG 4×10 – The Loss.

The goal of the competition is to drive development of devices that will give consumers access to their state of health in the palm of their hand.

It is clear to me that it will be imperative for teams to use core molecular biology techniques such as gene and protein chips for any Tricorder to be a success. What are your thoughts?

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