Confession time: I was a Trekkie. Yes, I lusted after Captain Kirk. But deep down my heart belonged to Bones, the smack-talking ship’s chief medical officer who often saved the day with help of his space-aged gizmos and gadgets.
Decades ago, when Star Trek was a prime time sensation, I was glued to my parents black and white TV for every minute of the voyage of the Star ship Enterprise. In many ways, that sci-fi series boldly went where no man or woman had gone before, breaking barriers of gender and race and challenging social mores. But even more that that, Star Trek allowed us to glimpse into a future that united technology and medicine in a way that seemed (at the time) out of this world. But today, scientists are catching up to Dr. McCoy (aka Bones) and the Enterprise’s sleek sick bay.
This month Final Frontier Medical Devices, the team from Basil Leaf Technologies, presented DxtER, a home medical device that can test for 12 different ailments and track five major vital signs, non-invasively! No more drawing blood and taking trips to the doctor’s office.
The device can diagnose a plethora of conditions, including: anemia, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), diabetes, sleep apnea, COPD, UTIs, pneumonia, ear infection, high blood pressure, whooping cough, mononucleosis and increased white blood cell counts.
Although not as sleek or compact as Bones’ tricorder, the DxtER has an accuracy rate of 70% when tested against an approved set of anonymous patient charts.
At home, the user simply inputs data into diagnostic software (easily downloaded on a mobile device) and then applies: a chest sensor for monitoring heart rate, respiration and temperature; a wrist and hand sensor that checks blood pressure, hemoglobin, white blood cell counts, blood sugar levels, and blood oxygen levels; a digital stethoscope to monitor breathing sounds; and a spirometer to measure lung air capacity.
No it’s not as simple as waving a device in front of your body for a few seconds, but DxtER could help you manage health care costs by being able to conduct basic vital sign analysis before heading to the doctor’s office.
Although this diagnostic tool cannot yet provide comprehensive analysis and definitive screenings for rare diseases like multiple sclerosis, pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s or ALS, it could eliminate the more common ailments and make it easier to provide your healthcare provider with basic medical data to help speed along the process.
Also, for people with rare autoimmune diseases or whose immune systems have been compromised, DxtER could prevent a trip to the doctor’s office during cold and flu season — thereby avoiding exposure to harmful germs.
Although DxtER probably won’t be available in time for this holiday season, it could make a perfect gift for any health-conscious person on your list. For $200-400, the future of medical diagnostics can be yours… as soon as it passes its clinical trials. To find out more on this story in Newsmax, click here.