The Tricorder is Coming

Many new developments bring the possibility of a working tricorder-like device closer to reality.

A Gadget that Makes You the Doctor – [technologyreview.com]

Scanadu hopes its tricorder-like device and a smartphone will help people track their health and diagnose problems.

For most of us, checking our health or diagnosing an illness means a trip to the doctor’s office. For Walter De Brouwer, it involves holding a little square up to his temple or spitting onto the edge of a blue plastic square, snapping a photo with his iPhone, and then reading his diagnosis on the small, glowing screen.

Hundreds of biochemical analyses on a single device – [epfl.ch]

Scientists at EPFL and the University of Geneva have developed a microfluidic device smaller than a domino that can simultaneously measure up to 768 biomolecular interactions.

Pocket test measures 50 things in a drop of blood – [methodisthealth.com]

A new device about the size of a business card could allow health care providers to test for insulin and other blood proteins, cholesterol, and even signs of viral or bacterial infection all at the same time—with one drop of blood. Preliminary tests of the V-chip, created by scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and MD Anderson Cancer Center, were published last night by Nature Communications.

“The V-Chip could make it possible to bring tests to the bedside, remote areas, and other types of point-of-care needs,” said Nanomedicine faculty member Lidong Qin, Ph.D., the project’s principal investigator. “V-Chip is accurate, cheap, and portable. It requires only a drop of a sample, not a vial of blood, and can do 50 different tests in one go.”

V-Chip: New device for biomarker testing – [youtube.com]

Biomarker testing – looking for protein markers of disease in blood or urine samples – is normally done in labs with expensive instruments. But a new device, made by scientists in Texas, could take some tests out of the lab and closer to patients. The V-Chip, as it’s called, is cheap, portable, and relatively easy to use. The researchers hope that one day, it’ll mean tests can be done at the bedside or even in patients’ homes. Charlotte Stoddart took the V-Chip to a lab in London where they develop tests for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Britain’s National Health Service.

3-D Medical Scanner: New Handheld Imaging Device to Aid Doctors on the ‘Diagnostic Front Lines’ – [osa.org]

In the operating room, surgeons can see inside the human body in real time using advanced imaging techniques, but primary care physicians, the people who are on the front lines of diagnosing illnesses, haven’t commonly had access to the same technology – until now. Engineers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have created a new imaging tool for primary care physicians: a handheld scanner that would enable them to image all the sites they commonly examine, and more, such as bacterial colonies in the middle ear in 3-D, or monitor the thickness and health of patients’ retinas. The device relies on optical coherence tomography (OCT), a visualization technology that is similar to ultrasound imaging, but uses light instead of sound to produce the images. The team will present their findings at the Optical Society’s (OSA) Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics (FiO) 2012, taking place Oct. 14 – 18 in Rochester, N.Y.

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