Two years ago, an Illinois man convinced several investors to raise $25 million to fund a revolutionary medical device, a Tricoder, to instantly deliver patient data to doctors. The device didn’t exist and the man was convicted of fraud. But in less than two years his fantasy turned into reality and the Tricorder does exist.
It is a tiny, round device called “Scanadu Scout” and it works by placing it on one’s forehead. Through its sensor, and in a matter of seconds, the Scanadu measures heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, oxygen level and provides a complete ECG reading. The most revolutionary aspect of the Scanadu is that it can be used by anyone. The Scanadu Scout is one of the ten finalists of the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize, a contest to create an affordable, handheld device that consumers can use to diagnose their medical conditions at home. The device is not yet available to purchase and is pending FDA approval.