The USS Enterprise crew dared to go where no man had gone before in the 1960s. People's perceptions of the future were expanded by Star Trek. At the time, the idea of a "Medical Tricorder," a machine that diagnoses illnesses quickly, was pure science fiction. However, we at XPRIZE took it as a challenge, and we have turned this sci-fi dream into a reality.
We introduced the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE in 2012. 34 teams from around the world started working on the technologies required to build a fully functional medical tricorder. In the middle of a tuberculosis epidemic, one of these teams, Cloud DX, is already having a noticeable impact on Mozambique in East Africa. In Mozambique alone, the deadly disease that spreads from person to person through microscopic droplets from coughs and sneezes kills 160,000 lives each year.
Working with Mozambique's national health service, Cloud DX and XPRIZE created the Vitaliti software, which turns any smartphone into a Medical Tricorder without the need for any new hardware. The program records the sound of the user's cough, compares it to a database of coughs kept in the cloud, and can assist in determining the underlying cause. The user can then decide on the best course of action for medical treatment. This provides thousands of rural residents without access to healthcare institutions with the opportunity to identify, treat, and stop the spread of this extremely contagious disease, so saving thousands of lives every year.
The Vitaliti program, developed in collaboration with Mozambique's national health agency, transforms any smartphone into a Medical Tricorder without the need for any additional gear. The software can help identify the underlying cause of a cough by recording the user's voice, comparing it to a database of coughs stored in the cloud. The user can then select the most appropriate course of medical treatment. This offers thousands of rural inhabitants who lack access to medical facilities the chance to recognize, manage, and stop the spread of this highly contagious disease, thereby saving thousands of lives every year.