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Medical Tricorder – The Future in Home Medical Equipment

Updated on July 19, 2012

Who doesn’t love technology? We have iPods, iPads, iPhone 4S and all the latest from Apple. We love our Kindles, KoboVox or whatever e-book reader you have. We are infatuated with anything high-tech, from digital cameras to the latest toy gadgets and we upgrade to the latest version as soon as it’s available. Our love for technology has certainly gone a long, long way and everything we do in life is made easier with our gadgets and gizmos.

The medical community has also been invaded by technology and so hospital and home medical equipment has become even smaller, more portable. Steve Jobs’ legacy to the medical community clearly showed how we have used the latest communication gadgets into medical products and instruments as doctors use it to make caring for patients easier and more convenient and allowing them better connection with their patients. M-health and e-health is the trend.

But wouldn’t it be absolutely awesome if we have a small medical device or a home medical equipment, something like what we see only in sci-fi or futuristic movies, that can literally tell you what’s wrong with you, what you need to do and how you can do it, simply at a push of a button? Well a few years from now we might have that kind of medical device.

Star Trek USB Communicator
Star Trek USB Communicator

Scanadu, an innovative health tech startup called founded by a team of entrepreneurs last January 2011, is developing this kind of home medical equipment that looks like it came out of Star Trek. Well, the idea was really inspired by the Star Trek communicator according to one of the founders and Scanadu’s Chief Executive Officer Walter De Brouwer and he added that, “I’ve tried to build the Tricorder once before, in 1999 at Starlab, but the technology was too immature.” Then the idea came up again when his son was hospitalized and he conjured up the idea of making use of smartphones for auto-diagnosis or sort of having a personal doctor at home, which would allow you to easily identify health conditions that may arise.

Scanadu is sending your mobile phone to med school with the aim of creating a commercially-viable medical tricorder in the next 3 - 5 years.
Scanadu is sending your mobile phone to med school with the aim of creating a commercially-viable medical tricorder in the next 3 - 5 years.

It is what they call a Medical Tricorder , the future in home medical equipment as a personal health monitoring service which we all should have as it has the ability to take your temperature, read your vitals, and even automatically diagnose common health conditions. It can even tell you whether there is a need for an antibiotic and if there is a need for a doctor or a hospital the directions going there. It is being developed specifically with parents with kids at home in mind so that they can avoid expensive and may be unnecessary trips to the hospital based on their anxiety and/or insufficient information.


As of now, Scanadu is in the process of building the core team of biomedical engineers, software and hardware developers, and AI specialists. And they are “currently seeking technology partnerships with telemedicine and diagnostic technology startups, and hiring more people to join its quest to build a personal ‘pocket doctor’.” Note though that this is in the developing stage, they are prototyping and will keep people posted on the latest development. Also, this home medical equipment is not meant to replace doctors and nurses but to help triage patients and in the case of parents to avoid unnecessary hospital visits.

Looking at the video below is the best way to show the endless possibilities and understand what the concept is all about:

If you like this hub, please do leave a comment. Also, check my other hubs.

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    • Marie-Renee profile image

      Renee 4 years ago

      Thanks DDE, its important to really be updated on the latest in modern medical technology.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Good choice and is very important. Modern technology is fantastic!

    • Marie-Renee profile image

      Renee 6 years ago

      Thanks Nell, my friend though is scared about that tricorder, what with the thing on the neck and sounds like too much delving into the more privacy something like has really gone a long way.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, Wow! now thats what I call technology! I have often thought that they should be trying to make something like this, and after watching the video too it certainly looks interesting, great hub, cheers nell