Three primary variants of the tricorder appear in Star Trek, issued by the fictional organization Starfleet. The standard tricorder is a general-purpose device used primarily to scout unfamiliar areas, make detailed examination of living things, and record and review technical data. The medical tricorder is used by doctors to help diagnose diseases and collect bodily information about a patient; the key difference between this and a standard tricorder is a detachable hand-held high-resolution scanner stored in a compartment of the tricorder when not in use. The engineering tricorder is fine-tuned for starship engineering purposes. There are also many other lesser-used varieties of special-use tricorders. The word “tricorder” is an abbreviation of the device’s full name, the “TRI-function reCORDER”, referring to the device’s primary functions; Sensing, Computing and Recording.
How one woman made a ‘tricorder’ that could change medicine
When you get mysteriously ill, how do you diagnose what’s up? If you’re at home, you might have a thermometer to help identify your illness, but not much else. Even your general practice doctor is limited by the tools they have to hand. To find out, you have to go to hospital – where complicated machinery is available, for blood tests, scans and more. Unfortunately, not everybody has that access.
That’s why Anita Goel of the company Nanobiosym decided to invent a ‘tricorder’ – in the same vein as the multipurpose medical tool used in Star Trek – that has the potential to transform healthcare itself.
Select the link below to watch the video and discover what it looks like, how it works – and who it will help most.