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Medical Device Used in ‘Star Trek’ Is Now a Reality

A winner has been selected in a contest to re-create the tricorder used by Dr. McCoy on the ‘Star Trek.’ In a decade, we might see it in hospitals.


No “Bones” about it.

Science fiction is becoming reality in 21st century medicine.

A working tricorder — the favorite (if fictional) portable diagnostic tool used on “Star Trek” by Dr. Leonard H. “Bones” McCoy — was recently unveiled at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo.

Designed by Final Frontier Medical Devices, the tablet-style DxtER device was unveiled as the winner of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE.

The contest awarded $10 million in prize money to developers of innovative handheld medical tools that consumers can use to monitor their own health.

The competition was launched in 2012.

How the winning device works

At the AACC meeting on July 31, Final Frontier Medical Devices was awarded the $2.6 million first prize for developing DxtER.

The device uses noninvasive sensors to collect information on vital signs, body chemistry, and biological function.

“DxtER is the first consumer-friendly mobile health device to combine vital sign monitoring with an extensive diagnostic testing menu, and it could lead to a huge leap forward in patient care,” said AACC Chief Executive, Janet B. Kreizman, in a press statement.

The device uses artificial intelligence, based in part on knowledge from clinical emergency medicine, to analyze data gathered via patient questionnaires and sensors to provide a quick assessment of the subject’s health.

Basil Leaf Technologies, a healthcare technology firm founded in 2013 by brothers Dr. Basil Harris and George Harris, a network engineer, developed the device over a four-year period.

“It’s interesting that things that were science fiction 20 or 30 years ago have come to fruition,” Phil Charron, Basil Leaf’s…

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