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An ’X Prize’ for mobile diagnostics

Technology Review, May 31, 2011

The X Prize Foundation announced a new $10 million contest to develop a portable device that can diagnose a wide range of diseases with the same accuracy as a panel of board-certified physicians. The details of the contest are still being worked out, but the goal is likely to be a device that can perform a number of diagnostic tests and combine these with artificial intelligence to determine whether a subject has a particular malady. Such a device could help those who lack access to traditional medical services—and streamline access to specialty care in traditional medical treatment. "Imagine a world where people get funneled to the right part of a complex health system at the right time," says Eileen Bartholomew, a senior director at the X Prize Foundation. Bartholomew is working on designing the exact parameters for the prize, which will be launched in 2012.