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Real Life Tricorder Sends Your Smartphone to Medical School

This is one of those moments when the present catches up to the future and delivers a new technology that we once only envisioned as a sci-fi accessory. A wireless sensor/scanner, called Scanadu Scout, is bringing the Tricorder to life, and yes, it’s crowdfunded.

The Tricorder, that ubiquitous piece of equipment from the show Star Trek, allowed instant assessment of the state of health (or illness, as the case may be), in the form of a handheld gadget, and with the launch of the Scanadu Scout, you may soon be able to have your own medical grade wireless body sensor.

The Scout is capable of accurately measuring heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, ECG, oximetry, and more, with just a 10 second scan of the patient’s forehead. The data is then transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone, where it can be displayed and saved for tracking or analysis.

“Your body’s information where it belongs: in your hands. Share it with your doctor and others to take health conversations – and discoveries – to a new level. Learn ways that different people, locations, activities, foods, beverages, and medicines affect your body. Sick or well. Discover connections. Watch trends. Spot side effects. Catch problems early. And track them. Get healthier.”

For the life-loggers, the health conscious, athletes, or anyone who wants to own their own health data, this sensor system could enable a whole new level of tracking for personal use, but for remote areas, and places without easy access to medical care, it could be a potent tool in the hands of first responders that could save lives.

This little piece of the future is not yet a “medical grade” or medical device, but with the proper backing and number of participants for data gathering and research with the Scanadu Scout could eventually turn out a device that will meet with FDA approval.

In an overwhelming show of support, funders of the project at Indiegogo have blown past the initial goal of raising $100,000, and are well on their way to tripling that, with a full month left to go on the campaign.

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