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Star Trek Treknology
The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive
The Future in Minutes
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Star Trek Treknology
The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive
The Future in Minutes
A handheld diagnostic device has long been the dream of doctors and patients alike. And it's getting closer.
By Jo Best | November 26, 2018
Hill.TV. November 2018.
Telemedicine devices will play an integral role in advancing health care in communities, Basil Harris, the deputy chief of emergency medicine at Lankenau Medical Center, said in an episode of Hill.TV's "Boundless" that aired Wednesday.
"The tricorder and the 5G network, and being able to connect these devices to the caregivers is really helping advance us in being a healthier community," Harris told Hill.TV.
"Without this type of information, we are just responding to illness as it rears its head. We are just responding to crisis over and over again," he continued. "If we can extend this information into the mainstream, into the community, it's helping maintain health."
Harris uses the tricorder, a device patients can use to gather information on their health and then send to doctors. Harris said the device helps gather information that physicians need to help make a diagnosis.
Using a tricorder, Harris demonstrated how the device is made up of a series of sensors that doctors can interact with.
"There's different ways and different modes that you can use it. It's basically a monitor to get your vital signs," he said.
"Boundless" is a multipart Hill.TV documentary series focused on technological advancements.
— Julia Manchester
Philadelphia. October 2018.
READ about it …
October 09, 2018 by Wendy Plump
Alumnus Basil Harris, MD, PhD, endured the crucible of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize competition, won it in 2017 through his self-funded, family-based company, and visited Drexel to tell a packed conference room at Gerri C. LeBow Hall about the experience during the Symposium on Noninvasive Medical Technology last week.
Harris’ keynote address was shot through with humor, humility and elaboration for an audience of students largely unfamiliar with the tricorder, a space-age medical tool on the television series “Star Trek.” Harris described the five-year XPrize competition to engineer one as a seemingly endless series of “building and scrapping and building and scrapping” as he and family members developed a hand-held device that can diagnose patient symptoms in real time from their homes.
WATCH the event …
Many thanks to Drexel University, Drexel’s College of Engineering, Drexel’s College of Medicine, The Hellenic University Club, and to all our friends and family … especially ANGELA!
Check out our appearance on The Today Show …
NBC’s Today Show. September 2018.
NBC’s Gadi Schwartz heads to Bangkok, Thailand, to take a closer at a Mongkutwatana Hospital, where robots have been commissioned to help staff and soothe patients. Schwartz also hears from Dr. Basil Harris, an emergency room physician at Lankenau Medical Center in Pennsylvania, who invented a machine capable of diagnosing 16 different diseases.
Many thanks to the Spivack Family and the generosity of Dr. Alfred Spivack SKMC ’54 (1928-2016). Info about the MARK L. TYKOCINSKI, MD ENDOWED LECTURE
Watch the whole event... Direct Link to the Video
BY EUGENE MYERS
In an episode of the 1960s science fiction series Star Trek, Dr. McCoy utters one of his famous catchphrases: “I’m a doctor, not an engineer!” Basil Harris, MD ’02, PhD, happens to be both, which gave him an advantage in bringing McCoy’s “medical tricorder”—a portable diagnostic device—from television to reality.
In January 2012, XPRIZE and Qualcomm announced a global competition to develop a handheld consumer device that enables people to “make their own reliable health diagnoses anywhere, anytime.” When Harris heard about it a year later, he realized that such a device would have to replicate what he does as an emergency medical physician.
“We have to make these quick decisions. We have to make diagnoses with quick streams of basic information,” he says.
Harris has a master’s degree in structural engineering from Drexel and a PhD in engineering from Cornell, where he became interested in bioengineering and modeling medical systems. That led him to SKMC, where he worked on biomechanics with Alexander Vaccaro, MD, PhD, MBA, and Alan Hilbrand, MD, at the Rothman Institute. After graduation, Harris completed a residency at Jefferson in emergency medicine and has worked in the Lankenau Medical Center emergency department since.
Clinical OMICS NOV-DEC 2017
Point–of–Care Testing Revs Up
by Malorye Allison Branca
A host of new technologies and tests are allowing faster diagnosis and improved patient care across a range of conditions
Of the 300 teams that joined the pursuit of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, Final Frontier Medical Devices and Dynamical Biomarkers Group were both announced winners at the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE awards ceremony on April 12, 2017.
Final Frontier Medical Devices was announced the highest performing team and received $2.6M for their achievement and Dynamical Biomarkers Group received $1M for 2nd place. Both teams exceeded the competition requirements for user experience, nearly met the challenging audacious benchmarks for diagnosing the 13 disease states, and with their prototypes, have taken humanity one step closer to realizing Gene Roddenberry’s 23rd century sci-fi vision. XPRIZE congratulates Final Frontier Medical Devices and Dynamical Biomarkers Group on their amazing achievements.
In celebration of efforts that inspire others to take risks and strive for “moonshots”, even if ultimately they do not win the XPRIZE, team Cloud DX was also recognized as XPRIZE’s first Bold Epic Innovator receiving $100,000, sponsored by Qualcomm Foundation.
If Star Trek ever had you wishing that a checkup to make sure you live long and prosper was as easy as being scanned with a tricorder, the handheld diagnostic device will soon beam down to earth and up into space.
While you might not have your blood pressure checked by the nameless hologram doctor in Star Trek: Voyager (whose version of the gadget is the most akin to what we’re seeing today), these things will soon be taking vitals in emergency rooms, battlefield hospitals, refugee camps, and yes, the final frontier. Even the team that prototyped this thing is called—you guessed it—Final Frontier Medical Devices (FFMD).
Oh, and they’re all bona fide Trekkies. FFMD development team member Philip Charron confirmed that he and his colleagues are all “Star Trek nerds.” That would probably be why their lightweight device, whose digital brain can monitor vital signs and diagnose a number of commonly occurring health conditions, won first place in the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize competition. Their model is called DxtER and ironically pronounced just like the name of the serial killer on the smash Showtime series. Creepy coincidence aside, it was designed through the quick-thinking lens of emergency room doctor and FFMD co-founder Basil Harris. Artificial intelligence will give DxtER non-invasive diagnostic abilities that can confirm you have a raging sinus infection thousands of miles from Earth.
"It would be amazing if the tricorder actually made it back out into space again," said Charron, with Mars in mind. "That would be a great application for something like this."
By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | August 1, 2017 01:17pm ET
A tricorder may soon be an essential part of every voyaging astronaut's tool kit, and not just on "Star Trek."
Handheld diagnostic devices akin to the tricorders famously wielded by doctors in the "Star Trek" universe are poised to find their way into people's homes, emergency rooms, refugee camps, battlefield hospitals and perhaps even the final frontier, developers of the gear say.
"All of this is all going to be possible in a short period of time," Philip Charron, a member of the Final Frontier Medical Devices (FFMD) team that developed a prototype tricorder, said Monday (July 31) at the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in San Diego.
Basil Leaf Technologies is honored to participate in the International Workshop on Innovative Technologies for Chemical Security. Hosted by the Brazilian Academy of Science, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has sought out organizations and researchers that have produced outcomes that could help our planet's global security.
Rio de Janeiro
Like the tablet and sliding door, the tricorder is a technology inspired by Star Trek that exists today as a reality. In the show, the tricorder was a handheld device used by the doctors to find out and diagnose the condition of patients. You could scan someone, and get everything you needed to know. This was the object of Qualcomm Tricorder Xprize competition: to build a tricorder. And Dr. Basil Harris did. That’s why it exists today.
“Being a long time trekkie and science fiction fan, this was awesome just to be part of,” says Harris.
In April, Paoli, PA-based Basil Leaf Technologies—under the name “Final Frontier Medical Devices”—was announced as the top winner of the $2.5M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. Sponsored by the Qualcomm Foundation, the competition calls for teams to develop a consumer-focused, mobile device capable of diagnosing 13 medical conditions and continuously capturing five vital health metrics—all within a well-designed consumer experience. Villanova University Electrical and Computer Engineering adjunct professor Edward Hepler, PhD, serves on Basil Leaf Technologies’ Executive Board of Managers and was a member of the winning team.
The company’s prototype, DxtER, is a portable device capable of collecting and interpreting large amounts of data to accurately diagnose specific medical conditions, provide users with real-time insight regarding their health, and guide them to appropriate action. According to its press release, “Our device gives users access to continuous, reliable health data - the information patients and providers need to more effectively manage chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure.”
Dr. Hepler, a technology leader with a broad range of experience in product and embedded system specification, design and implementation, was part of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE team that included physicians, engineers, designers, health policy experts, mobile technology and sensor professionals. His 35-plus years of experience includes designing high reliability processors used for electronic switching for Bell Laboratories, participating in various hardware and software projects for the Space Systems Division of General Electric, and developing chips for next generation Amiga machines at Commodore Business Machines. Most recently, Dr. Hepler held the position of Fellow (technical equivalent of Vice President), Embedded Systems Architecture at InterDigital Communications, wherehe provided the implementation architecture for 3G and 4G cellular modems and led a team that explored the use of “reconfigurable” computer architecture to implement a multi-mode (2G, 3G/R4, 3G/R7, LTE) modem.
An adjunct professor at Villanova since 1984, Dr. Hepler teaches courses in Digital Systems, Computer Architecture and VLSI Design.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Star Trek fans know the “Tricorder” is a magical medical device that can read a person’s vital signs and much more in just seconds.
. . .
“This is something to make doctors jobs more efficient,” he said.
He and the team Basil Leaf [Technologies] of Paoli brought the product to Lankenau Medical Center for a trial.
“My reaction was ‘Oh my God, this thing worked,’ and patients love it,” Harris said.
After winning the Qualcomm contest, now he says the real work begins.
“We’re going through clinical trials to get FDA approval for each of the components of the kit so we can build up the kit and get this thing out there to market,” Harris said.
The June Makers Meetup has it all: crazy disruptive med-tech (for use even by untrained consumers) - a self-funded David vs. many Goliaths - worldwide public health benefits -artificial intelligence - hometown heroes and, of course, Star Trek.
Ah yes, Star Trek. The original series profoundly changed our world culture ("I'm giving it all she's got, Captain"; "Beam me up, Scotty"; and, perhaps most famously, may you "Live long and prosper").
However, the technologies which Gene Roddenberry imagined have had an even greater impact. The dream of the 'Communicator' has become cellphones. Google has delivered on the idea of a 'Universal Translator'. And now, the 'Tricorder' has arrived to change the planet, 250 years ahead of schedule.
. . . READ more HERE
Also, check out what Marvin has lined up in September: The 'Make' Revolution with Dale Dougherty --- We can't wait!
It’s a laid back Friday evening in San Jose, but judging by his huge grin and enthusiastic handshakes, Dr. Basil Harris is as excited as can be. Harris has just arrived from the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE awards ceremony in Los Angeles, where he and his team were announced as winners of the grueling five year competition. In what could be considered a victory tour of sorts, Basil and his brother and co-inventor George made a stop in the Bay Area to show off their winning device before heading home to Philadelphia.
The event wasn’t a medical conference or technology symposium, however. Rather, it was a media welcome reception for the annual Silicon Valley Comic Con. Alongside Star Trek celebrities like William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols, Harris was invited as a guest to spend a few hours demonstrating his own contribution to Star Trek. From Harris’ big smile, you could tell that he was proud of his team’s accomplishment and enjoyed sharing it with the press. But the big highlight for Harris was when the show’s owner, Apple co-founder and tech legend Steve Wozniak, arrived to meet the guests. Excited, nervous, and a little starstruck, Harris gave a quick demo of DxtER to “the Woz”, even jokingly blaming his increasing heart rate readings on “the Woz’s” presence.
. . . READ more HERE
by SARAH DIGIULIO
The original 1960s Star Trek series took place in a universe of the future with personal communicators, holograms, and the technology to send humans beyond our solar system. In many ways that future is here. We have smartphones, virtual reality, space travel — and now the tricorder.
In the show, the tricorder was a handheld medical device that could scan a patient, read his or her vital signs, and diagnose problems in minutes. A working prototype invented by a Philadelphia-based emergency room physician Basil Harris may not look like the ones used by Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy and Commander Beverly Crusher throughout the sci-fi series, but it's advanced enough to offer a medical diagnosis in minutes and anyone can use it.
By Greg Satell, Author, Mapping Innovation
What would be an impossible dream for most people is just family fun for the Harrises