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io9: Meet the Teams Who Are Building the World's First Medical Tricorder

Basil Harris

George Dvorsky3/13/14

Wouldn't it be amazing if we all had a personal medical scanning device like Star Trek's tricorder? Now the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is hoping to make it happen. We spoke to some contestants to learn how they're planning to win part of the $10 million in prize money.

The grand prize is worth $7 million, while second place takes $2 million and third place $1 million. The event is sponsored by Qualcomm, an American semiconductor company that designs, manufactures and markets digital wireless telecommunications products and services.

Encouraging Innovation

Setting aside the prize money, these sorts of contests actually work. Back in 2004, the Ansari XPRIZE was won by Mojave Aerospace Ventures after successfully developing feasible suborbital spaceflight via SpaceShipOne. Spurred on by that success, the XPRIZE Foundation has initiated several other contests, including prizes for innovative oil spill cleanup methods, alunar landermedical sensing technologies, and for improving our understanding of ocean acidification.

As for the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, its purpose is to do nothing less than revolutionize the way we do digital healthcare.

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