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Science Fiction Movies Inspire Development of Medical Technologies | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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San Diego, London- Science fiction first appeared in television programming in the late sixties, however, it seems that the technique inspired from the starship Enterprise appeared long time ago before it became a real device.

For instance, Dr. Leonard McCoy examined his patients in the series by using a device called the “tricorder” which can diagnose the disease within few seconds and without touching the patient. And despite that the series’ fans considered this device a legend, they definitely knew it doen’t belong to the real world.

In 2012 the X-Prizes foundation allocated a $10-million prize for any scientist who invent a tricorder-like device. It is supposed to function exactly like the model from the television, and should be able to accurately diagnose 15 types of diseases in 30 patients. Its weight should not exceed 2 kilograms.

According to the foundation, more than 300 teams applied for the competition.

The X-Prize contests have always made headlines. In 1996, the US foundation allocated a $10-billion award for the team who can organize a trip to the space edge.

This award went to the developers of “SpaceShipOne”, an air-launched rocket-powered aircraft.

Jessica Ching of the X-Prize Foundation at a live webcast discussion session during a medical technology conference in San Diego, California said: “We wanted a real product that serves consumers and satisfies them.”

She added: “we have to imagine this: when we started the competition, there were no Uber or Yelp or Elon Musk, and Facebook was still in its beginnings,” according to the German News Agency.

At the end of the contest, the two brothers Basil and George Harris, with their teams, were awarded with $2.6 million dollars.

A team from Taiwan, headed by Harvard professor Chung-Kang Peng, received second place.

Developers called their device “”Dxter”. It is white-colored and can be connected to an IPad.

First, the patient will be surveyed through a computer program. Then, sensors examine various vital functions on different spots of his body like the chest and wrist.

The second-placed device is a small box that connects to a smart device. The device examines the patient by interviewing and directing him to use some instruments that are placed in the box.

Till now, the devices are still prototypes, and they need a long time before being adopted in the patient’s routine.

The developers said devices can serve in many applications from remote areas to the refugee camps, and maybe one day, they can reach the space like the “Star Trek” ship.