Everybody knows what it is and would love to have one, no poking and prodding, just a quick scan and the doctor understands what’s wrong with you. The people over at Qualcomm have decided to put their money where their dreams are and offer up TEN million dollars in prize money to the three teams that can essentially create, a working Tricorder. Seven million dollars to first place, 2 million to second, and one million to third place.  

Hoping to spark inovation, develop new technoligies while fostering an attmosphere of freindly competition, X-Prize have been creating these contests including building a lunar rover and sequencing 100 human genomes. The first X-Prize, known as the Ansari X-Prize, for the first team to build a reusable launch vehicle to go to space twice within 14 days, was won by Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipOne in 2004. Now Scaled Composites is currently in a partnership with Virgin Galactic to bring tourists to space.

Qualcomm describes the need for this competition:

The Need for the Prize

In virtually every industry, end consumer needs drive advances and improvements. Except in healthcare. Very few methods exist for consumers to receive direct medical care without seeing a healthcare professional at a clinic or hospital, creating an access bottleneck. Despite substantial investment to improve the status quo, even average levels of service, efficiency, affordability, accessibility, and satisfaction remain out of reach for many whom the system was intended to help. A prize is thus sorely needed.

In response to this widespread need, the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE will:

  • Address the dual challenge of a) transforming healthcare by turning the “art” of medicine into a science, and b) making health a willing part of individuals’ daily lives.
  • Tackle needed breakthroughs in sensing technologies, technological integration, regulatory acceptance, and the perception that healthcare should be controlled by only a few skilled parties.
  • Incentivize teams to focus on a) precision diagnosis and measurement that is independent of healthcare institutions/professionals and on b) consumer needs/adoption.
  • Facilitate necessary partnerships and regulatory pathways required for this major transformation.
  • Inspire a future where consumers demand the tools to assess and manage their health independent of a hospital or doctor’s office.
  • Spark the creation of markets and products that offer medical detection, prevention, and management, as well as more complete diagnostics.

Category: Nerd Culture


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