This Blood Sensor Isn't Quite a Star Trek-Style Tricorder, But it's Pretty Damn Close

By Chris Mills on at

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.

Now, if we could just get working on that whole teleportation thing... [XPrize via Gizmag]