X Prize Foundation announces US$10m prize for developing Star Trek Tricorder
16 January 2012
The X Prize Foundation and Qualcomm Foundation have launched
the US$10 million Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize to stimulate the
development of a multipurpose consumer health diagnostics device.
Entrants will have to combine a range of technologies in areas such as
sensors, biotechnology, artificial
intelligence and wireless technology — much like the medical Tricorder
of Star Trek fame — to produce a device that can make medical diagnoses independent of a healthcare
professional or healthcare provider.
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. Readers of MTB
Europe will already know that medical technology is advancing
rapidly and handheld and miniaturised devices are appearing for many
medical applications, from a blood pressure measurement sensor, to
microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip, breath analysers etc. So it is more
likely that a winner will come from a group of companies forming a
team to combine their technologies into one device.
The announcement was made at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show
(CES) during the keynote address of Qualcomm Incorporated Chairman and CEO and Qualcomm
Foundation Chair, Dr. Paul Jacobs. Dr Peter H Diamandis, Chairman
and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, joined Dr
Jacobs on stage to introduce the competition.
“There is a dire need to improve access to healthcare globally
and provide consumers with an opportunity to be active participants
in their own health,” said Dr Diamandis. “The Qualcomm Tricorder X
PRIZE will incent the creation of technologies that can empower the
consumer with the ability to decide when, where and how to seek
health information and care.”
The US$10 million top prize will be awarded to the team that
develops a mobile platform that most accurately diagnoses a set of
15 diseases across 30 consumers in three days. Teams must also
deliver this information in a way that provides a compelling
consumer experience while capturing real time, critical health
metrics such as blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature.
The winning solutions will enable consumers in any location to
effectively assess health conditions, determine if
they need professional help and answer the question, “What do I do
next?” when it comes to their health.
“Health care today certainly falls far short of the vision
portrayed in Star Trek. By sponsoring the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE
competition, the Qualcomm Foundation will stimulate the imaginations
of entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and doctors to create
wireless health services and technologies that improve lives,
increase consumer access to healthcare and drive efficiencies in the
healthcare system,” said Dr. Jacobs. “This competition will
accelerate the development of tools that can empower consumers to
take charge of their own bodies and manage their own care.”
The competition guidelines are still being developed — the
complete 15 health conditions that have to be diagnosed are still
unknown, but will include measurements such as temperature and blood
pressure — and are expected to be announced later this year.
For more details see: