7 December 2016 (Wednesday) - Beam Me Up, Spotty

As a child I used to visit my mother on a Monday evening. Not so much out of a sense of filial duty as for the fact that she had the only colour telly in the family, and Monday night was “Star Trek” night.
I was fascinated how Doctor McCoy could wave a tricorder about and diagnose all sorts of diseases and conditions. Over the years I went on to get Star Trek tattoos, founded a Star Trek fan club and I’ve come to consider my role in healthcare to be akin to Dr McCoy’s tricorder.

There is now a competition to actually make a tricorder. The winning team will “develop a Tricorder device that will accurately diagnose 13 health conditions (12 diseases and the absence of conditions) and capture five real-time health vital signs, independent of a health care worker or facility, and in a way that provides a compelling consumer experience.

On the one hand part of me is impressed. My mobile phone is effectively Captain Kirk’s communicator. But tricorders…. The bit that worries me is the “independent of a health care worker or facility” bit. Will I finally be superceded by a tricorder?

I doubt it, but will follow progress with interest


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