Fans of the Star Trek series will know of the tricorder that Dr.Leonard McCoy uses for medical diagnosis. The tricorder functions in a way where you only need to point the device at a person to get their health status. While the fictional device seemed a little far fetched back then, a company is now bringing the concept behind the movie-prop to reality.
Scanadu is a Singularity University startup that has created a device called the Scanadu Scout – The First Medical Tricorder. By putting this device close to a person’s forehead, the Scanadu Scout can measure his or her body stats and display the information on a smartphone via Bluetooth. It’s like an Emergency Room that can fit inside your pocket.
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The tiny, handheld Scanadu Scout can give you medical details such as your:
- Heart rate
- Skin / Core body temperature
- Respiratory rate
- Blood pressure
- Electrocardiography (ECG)
- Oxygen levels
- Emotional stress
The Scanadu Scout has passive sensors such as electrodes, IR light sensors, thermistors etc. and only needs about 10 seconds on your forehead to acquire your vitals.
Readings from the Scanadu Scout will be sent via Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Low Energy (LE) and displayed on your smartphone through the Scanadu Scout app (though it is currently not available for download yet).
The Scanadu Scout has a rechargeable battery and uses a micro-USB port for charging. A full charge takes less than an hour and the Scout can last for about a week if used only a few times a day. It’s not a waterproof device, but can be wiped clean with a damp cloth after each use.
To get your own Scanadu Scout, you can support this project for $199 on Indiegogo and you’ll receive the device and the iOS/Android app by the end of 2013.
You should know that the Scanadu Scout is not FDA approved as it is not fully accurate yet. However, by supporting the project, you can use the device on yourself then opt-in to give them valuable feedback to better the device and improve its chances for approval. This will be in the form of official clinical studies which you will be invited to partake in if you agree on the Informed consent document.
Besides this Scanadu Scout, the Scanadu team has another device called the Scanadu Scanaflo. Scanadu Scanaflo is a urine test kit which enables you to get levels of glucose, blood, protein, pH and much more including testing for a positive pregnancy. There are not many details about the Scanadu Scanaflo as yet, since their main focus now is to create and develop Scanadu Scout.