Rapid Community Based Diagnostics

Challenge

The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE was a $10 million global competition borne out of the desire to reduce the dependence of medical care on seeing a healthcare professional, and to put healthcare in the hands of the consumer.

The goal was to develop innovative technologies capable of accurately diagnosing a set of 13 medical conditions and continuously measuring 5 vital signs independently of a healthcare professional or facility, all while maintaining a positive consumer experience.

  Industrial Partners

Science

Healthcare is an industry slow to change but under increasing pressures due to rising numbers of older and sicker patient and significant cost constraints. This challenge and project were set to investigate and inspire disruptive healthcare innovation and patient empowerment.

CHIC partnered with local companies to create an innovative solution using a mobile phone with integrated ‘symptom checker’ to collect user symptoms, combined with vital signs and blood urine or salivary biomarker readings from portable IoT devices - to allow a rapid evidence-based diagnosis to be made.

The solution could be used by an untrained individual to accurately diagnose a total of 13 different medical conditions ranging from cardiac arrhythmias to Pneumonia. The biomarker element of this project required exploration of several biomarker analysis methods, before selecting lateral flow technology due to its appropriateness for point-of-care diagnostics.  A single biomarker analysis approach was developed that was applied to the detection of multiple conditions.

The project required not only the creation of high-quality diagnostics using rapid prototyping approaches, but also problem-solving and inventiveness in the development of the software and hardware that made up the overall user experience.

Impact

The CHIC solution achieved joint-3rd place from an initial global entry of 360 teams.

The project accelerated development of many CHIC areas including the creation of cloud and app-based symptom checkers, data analytics approaches, the use and calibration of lateral flow biosensors and the integration IoT devices with cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The development of biomedical sensors and connected health devices inspired the creation of extensive in-house prototyping facilities.

The User eXperience (UX) elements of this project, tested by engagement with patient testers at an early stage in the prototyping process developed a keen awareness of patient expectations and usage patterns when attempting to use connected health solutions. This ‘know-how’ greatly aids subsequent and current CHIC projects.