You remember that device used by Dr. “Bones” McCoy in Star Trek, the thing that he held up to a patient that told him precise, vital medical information about whoever was being scanned? It actually exists, and it actually works.
The Scanadu SCOUT is a real-life Star Trek medical tricorder, and it’s coming in 2013. On contact, it scans and gives precise and pertinent medical information in seconds. There’s also ScanaFlo and ScanaFlu, which are both cheap and disposable, reports Gizmodo.
SCOUT is a little too expensive at $150 to be disposable, but there’s no reason to toss the thing. It’s a little hardware device that you hold to the left temple. Within ten seconds, it reads pulse transit time, heart rate, electrical heart activity, temperature, heart rate variability, and blood oxygenation. It can send all of this data to an app on your iPhone or Android and displays it for you. You can store your vitals, which could help with future health situations.
“Watching SCOUT at work was something almost magical, like having one of those giant health monitoring units reduced to a slice of plastic that fits on the palm of your hand,” writes Jesus Diaz. “Which, actually, is exactly how it became to be.”
After it’s introduced, the real-life medical tricorder might become as common as the thermometer, but that was the idea all along, says Scanadu founder Walter de Brouwer:
“Consumers don’t have the tools they need to monitor their health and make informed decisions about when they’re actually sick and need to see a doctor. We want to empower consumers to take control of their health and give them direct access to their personal healthfeed.”
Here’s a demonstration video of the Star Trek medical tricorder, a.k.a. the Scanadu SCOUT. Would you buy one?