Mobile healthcare is supposed to be the next big thing, with experts such as Eric Topol predicting an age where our mobile devices are increasingly used to record and communicate our health data with professionals, who can then act accordingly on the data we send them.
Suffice to say however, this area is still very much in the early stages of its development, so the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize should be particularly interesting. It represents the latest in a long line of competitions to provide breakthrough innovations. The target this time however is in the field of mobile healthcare.
The $10 million prize asks competitors to accurately diagnose 15 diseases in 30 patients across 3 days using nothing but a mobile device.
Twelve finalists have already been selected, with the first winners announced in October. The second challenge, already open for registration, is set to end next July, and has 40 teams registered.
Amongst the finalists is Scanadu, a team that is working on the development of a non-invasive, non-contact and non-sampling tricorder. They’ve been working on the product since before the X Prize was announced, so it seemed a natural step to sign up. They’re working on a device that can be integrated inside a smartphone, and will consist of a biological sensor input, imaging components and AI software to interpret the data.
They’re hopeful that the device will be on the market in the next few years, and will retail for under $200.
As Topol suggests, this is an area that is likely to make a big difference to global health, so the outcome should be well worth observing.
Suffice to say, it’s also another fantastic example of an organisation tapping into insight and innovation from wherever they can find it. It’s yet another example of what I believe is the future of innovation, and will eventually become the norm as companies realise the limitations of relying upon their own workforce for innovation.