Gadget Review: Medicalize your smartphone with ...

Gadget Review: Medicalize your smartphone with the Scanadu Scout

It’s obvious, people still live on in Star Trek. What once just seemed like futuristic gadgets in science fiction movies, are now likely to become reality. Let the bright minds think and several ingenious incentives and projects pop up. For example, the 'Tricorder Project' that aims to discover smart devices - quite inconceivable before - meant to be accessible to us as inexpensive as possible.

The world around us is getting more and more personalized. With our smartphones we have access to pretty much anything anywhere. But how personalized can we make it? Sometimes, it’s remarkable that there is still so much to learn about the world inside us: our own body. We are experiencing a wave of technologies that aim to transform the medical system step by step. Our smartphone can actually function as a medical device akin to the 'Star Trek Tricorder'.

In theory, the Scanadu Scout as medical grade Tricorder is an excellent example of how a doctors' consult can be turned into a ‘stay-at-home-and-do-it-yourself' consultation. In other words; with this small device we'll soon be able to easily scout our vital signs. Wherever we are, at home or on the go. It might even make a first visit to the doctor redundant. The idea of better knowing our bodies and so, to better anticipate on our health more frequently is liberating.

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The brain behind the Scanadu Scout is the team of Walter De Brouwer, which could realize the project through a crowdfunding campaign through funding website Indiegogo. Although the Scout is not yet for sale, the early bird backers of the project were fortunate to receive the first batch last week. And guess what? We have a scout in the house! Our colleague Sam Warnaars was privileged to test the device and wrote about it on Emerce.

To recap this, the Scanadu Scout is designed to emulate some of the sophisticated tools of your physician from the comfort of your living room. The Scout allows people to see the fingerprint of their own health. ‘The bluetooth doctor' in your pocket! The usage is simple. After downloading the supporting application you will be guided by clear instructions on how to get scanning. By simply placing the scout on the left side of your forehead, for a few seconds, your vital signs are displayed on your smartphone. And that’s pretty much it!

One thing that we have to keep in mind is that the application is linked to your personal information (age, weight, length etc.) holding a single account. Therefore, measurements of other family members will possibly be biased. Although the scout is still in its test phase, the ability to use the scout application with more than one account shouldn’t be a problem.

When available to the public, the Scout could be the ultimate consumer device displacing a few familiar measurement tools like the thermometer. It analyzes all your vital signs - your temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and blood oxygenation - and stores them for you. Soon medical grade data is personalized and easier to understand, and communicating with your physicians in order to make better decisions together will be the ultimate outcome of this impressive self controllable device.