Team of JHU Undergrads Compete for $10 Million Tricorder Prize

March 10, 2014

ZTY4NTMxYmQ5NDBh_930Video: JHU Students Develop Self-Diagnosis Device,
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Last year, 15 Johns Hopkins undergraduates got together to form Aezon Health, a collection of student engineers with “a new perspective on health.” The students have their eyes on the prestigious Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE (and the whopping $10 million prize that comes with it).

A conceptual image of Aezon's lab box component.

A conceptual image of Aezon’s lab box component.

The challenge sounds simple: Design an awesome gadget for self-diagnosis—something a bit more accurate than Googling a list of symptoms.

It’s no secret the healthcare industry is evolving, and the landscape is currently fertile for key innovators to change the game. What the Hopkins students at Aezon have created is a mobile device they say can diagnose 15 different health conditions—including strep throat, pneumonia, mononucleosis, urinary tract infections, and even HIV—based on your vital signs and other data.

“We’ve developed a consumer friendly device that can continuously monitor your vitals, like pulse, oxygen saturation, core temperature,” says Aezon team member Neil Rens, a sophomore biomedical engineering major.

As some Trekkies might suspect, the Qualcomm competition is inspired by the fictional tricorder from the Star Trek franchise, a hand-held device used for scanning, data analysis, and data recording. The $10 million prize is offered in hopes of making that fantasy prop into a reality, putting health monitoring and diagnosis in the palm of your hand.

Aezon — the only team in the competition comprising all undergraduates — has made it through the preliminary round of the Qualcomm competition. Now it faces off against 29 others teams of innovators from around the world, many of which are more experienced and better funded. The deadline for submissions is in May.

Excerpted from The Hub. Read more here.

 

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