(Medical Xpress) -- Do you remember the scenes from your favorite Star Trek episode where Dr. McCoy simple waves his scanner across an injured patient to diagnose the problem? Well, that technology may not be too far from becoming a reality as medical tech startup company Scanadu is creating a Tricorder.
The company was founded in January 2011 by Walter De Brouwer and is based out of the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
In May of 2011, the X-PRIZE Foundation announced a $10 million Tricorder X-PRIZE to encourage medical companies to work on producing devices that would help consumers assess their own health. With their developing Tricorder, Scanadu is the first potential contestant for the prize.
Once the competing Tricorders are ready for use, they will be placed against a panel of physicians to test their diagnosing capabilities in a variety of different diseases.
Based on the trailer by Scanadu, the new device will be able to read your vital signs, including blood pressure, pulmonary function and temperature. It will include an onboard camera that will be able to analyze things such as rashes and infections. An onboard processing lab would be able to accept samples of blood or other body fluids for analysis.
Based on the results, the Tricorder would then inform you of the possible course of action. If it was something that needed immediate medical attention, your physician would be notified with the information.
Based on their progress so far, Scanadu just received $2 million in funding from a group of private investors which includes Sebastien De Halleux, the co-founder of the social network gaming company Playfish.
Their first Tricorder is set to be targeted to parents of small children as a way to better monitor their health. It will provide alerts for things such as immunization needs and potential outbreaks of viruses in the local area. If an appointment is needed with your physician, you would be able to set one up directly through the system.
With smartphones and technology a part of everyday life, the idea behind this Tricorder is to make personal medical monitoring as simple and as easy as checking your email on a daily basis.
More information: www.scanadu.com/