Star Trek's tricorder is up there with flying cars and hoverboards as one of those futuristic inventions that always just seems a few years away. We're not quite there yet, but this sensor, which can diagnose diseases from a single drop of blood, is a pretty massive baby step.
The rHealth X, manufactured by Massachusetts-based company DMI, is the winner of this year's Nokia Sensing X Challenge. But far more important than half a million dollars in prize money is what this thing can do: given a single drop of blood, it uses lasers and tiny test strips to process and then detect disease — everything from simple colds and flu, all the way up to Ebola. Moreover, it does this to a claimed FDA gold standard, meaning that it can be used as a proper medical tool.
The rHealth X also comes with a wearable device that can monitor breathing rate and heart rate, and then transmit that data to your smartphone. In theory, that combo of a complete blood profile and vital stats could make remote diagnosis far more feasible, and save you a trip to the doctor's.
There's no word on how much or when as of yet, but DMI is committed to bringing the device (and its bigger, more research-oriented cousin) to market, aimed at both medical professionals and consumers.