Qualcomm wants your help in building a diagnostic tricorder

The combination of sensors and mobile networks are changing the way we interact with the health system. Maybe it’s the addition of a jacket on your phone that can monitor our heartbeat or even a program that allows a user to track their sleep, but the world of medicine is set for a big shift.

Qualcomm Foundation, a non-profit arm of the mobile chip company, hopes that it can incentivize scientists and developers to take advantage of this shift by building a handheld machine aimed at consumers that can diagnose 15 medical ailments based on sensors in the device. The inspiration for the contest was the Star Trek tricorder, and the contest registration extends until January with the prize being determined in 2015. There’s a second prize running in conjunction with that prize for medical sensors as Mark Winters, the senior director of the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE and Nokia Sensing X Challenge explains in this video below.

Winters spoke with me at our Mobilize 2012 show in San Francisco last week, and shared details of the tricorder X prize as well as some of the current research in medical sensing technology that may one day make it into a tricorder or even your smartphone. Enjoy.