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Futuristic Medical Device Now a Reality

Decades after Star Trek made famous the small scanning device that could read your vital signs, the medical tricorder is now ready for prime time. The Scanadu can take everything from your heart rate to your blood pressure to your temperature in just ten seconds. Here's a look at how it works and why the creator wanted to put medicine into the hands of patients.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Decades after Star Trek made famous the small scanning device that could read your vital signs, the medical tricorder is now ready for prime time. The Scanadu can take everything from your heart rate to your blood pressure to your temperature in just ten seconds.  Here's a look at how it works and why the creator wanted to put medicine into the hands of patients.

The medical tricorder that could scan your body for vital signs has gone from science fiction to science fact.
 
This small device, called the Scanadu, along with an accompanying smartphone app, can read your vitals in 10 seconds, with what the company says is 95 percent accuracy.

"We have a whole range of things you could actually measure, but the most important are the vital signs: these are temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rates, oxygenation and heart rate," explains Walter De Brouwer, found and CEO of Scanadu.
 
The scanadu works by holding the device up to your temple.
"We form an electrical circuit in the body and everything happens in this movement," De Brouwer explains.

De Brouwer came up with the idea after an accident put his son in the hospital for a year. The applications could be far reaching, especially if the device gets FDA approval and can be used by doctors.
 
"In its entirety, the Tricoder should be a complete hospital in a very small device," De Brouwer believes.

It's been a sort of dream come true for this Star Trek fan.
"They never would have thought a prop out of a science fiction series would one day, probably, disrupt the complete healthcare system."

Currently you can only pre-order the device for  $199 through the company's Indie-Gogo  fundraising campaign. The device is set to  ship in March 2014.

Scanadu is also developing disposable urine tests that could detect a variety of conditions including abnormal glucose levels, liver and kidney problems...and even track your pregnancy.

Once the device has been approved by the FDA, it will be sold to the general public.


(Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com for CBS News)


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