ACTRI was the Consumer Testing Site for the Tricorder Devices
April 20, 2017
XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, and the Qualcomm Foundation have awarded millions of dollars to the finalist teams of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, including a top prize of $2.6 million to the Pennsylvania-based team, Final Frontier Medical Devices, led by brothers Dr. Basil Harris, an emergency medicine physician, and George Harris, a network engineer. A second-place prize of $1 million was granted to Taiwan-based finalist, Dynamical Biomarkers Group, led by Harvard Medical School Associate Professor Chung-Kang Peng, Ph.D. and supported by HTC Research.
The awards were announced April 12 during a ceremony in Hollywood, with UC San Diego representatives in attendance – including David Brenner, MD, Vice Chancellor of UC San Diego Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine; a team from the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI); and members of the UC San Diego physician oversight team. Consumer testing was completed in early 2017 at ACTRI.
“It was exciting to be the Testing Site for the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. The Tricorder project reflects our focus on disruptive innovation to improve human health—a focus supported by UC San Diego and the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS),” said Gary S. Firestein, MD, ACTRI Director and Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine at UC San Diego. “ACTRI was not only a testing site, but we have set up a device testing infrastructure that will continue.”
ACTRI is expected to go on conducting consumer testing of experimental Tricorders through a post-prize initiative under discussion.
Consumer testing at ACTRI focused on diagnostics, vital signs, and the consumer experience. This testing included the same rigor and protocols as a clinical trial but focused on the objectives of the XPRIZE competition. Testing was assisted by a clinical coordinator who trained a consumer on the device, followed by an approximately 90-minute independent session that provided a diagnosis within minutes.
Gene "Rusty" Kallenberg, MD, Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine, led the physician oversight team, made up of UC San Diego physicians Dustin Lillie, Benjamin Johnson, and Amy Leu. The ACTRI clinical coordinator team included Raul Fortunet, Jeff Ledford-Mills, and Avery Huberts. Former ACTRI project manager Todd May led the coordinators in the effort until late 2016.
Launched in 2012, the global competition challenged teams to develop a consumer-focused, mobile integrated diagnostic device inspired by the medical Tricorder of Star Trek® fame, first shown to TV viewers more than 50 years ago.
Read the XPRIZE news release