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Science and Technology

Take charge of your health with a tricorder-like device

University of Cincinnati researchers are developing a Star Trek-like tricorder device to help you monitor your own health.

The tricorder, known for its ability in part to diagnose disease, isn't so futuristic anymore.

Diamond Select Toys simulates the sound of the Star Trek device. "Captain, we're picking up very light tricorder readings."

UC Professor Jason Heikenfeld has built a prototype that looks like a glorified band-aid filled with electronics. It will eventually be able to monitor your medical condition and diagnose disease.

"Basically you put it on your skin. It stimulates electronically, a little bit of sweat and then it measures biomarker molecules in your sweat and then it communicates that to a smart phone."

Heikenfeld is banking on sweat because he says it has most of the same biomarkers as blood. The Air Force is helping fund the research for use on its fighter pilots. Tests will begin on a simplified version in a few years. However, commercial production of a full-blown tricorder patch could still be 10-20 years down the road.

See below for a link to a longer story about this. The X Prize Foundation, in its never ending quest to bring about new ideas, is looking for somebody to design a tricorder. The winner will get $10 million. UC is not part of this competition.