Vitaliti sensor

The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is a competition to develop a portable, wireless device that can monitor and diagnose a person’s health. Named after the medical sensor device from the “Star Trek” series, the competition will choose three teams to share the $10 million in prize money. One of the ten finalists is Cloud DX, which has created the VITALITI device.

You wear the device around the back of your neck, with two flexible arms that reach over your shoulders so that sensors rest on your chest. A connected earpiece also goes in one ear. The device is designed to measure and record an ambitious range of biometric data:

  • Active Heart Rate
  • Exercise Zones
  • Resting Heart Rate
  • Heart Rate Variability
  • Respiration Rate
  • Core Body Temperature
  • Steps Taken
  • Calories Burned
  • Posture Index
  • Sleep Cycles

In addition to these, the device is also capable of measuring electrocardiogram (ECG), blood oxygen, and blood pressure, though these will not be available unless the wearer is part of an approved clinical trial or the device receives FDA certification for these measures. It will be important to see how accurate the device is at measuring these different metrics, as some experts have expressed legitimate skepticism about some of them in general (such as blood pressure).

One interesting aspect of the device is that the developers hope to develop analytic algorithms that will be able to detect and diagnose various diseases, even before the subject is aware of symptoms. This diagnostic role will likely require extensive testing in order to get FDA approval, so it may be years before that function becomes available. The device is expected to retail for $350 when it ships at the end of this year, though pre-orders are available now for $199. And the XPRIZE is scheduled to be awarded in January 2016.