Anyone who’s seen much of Star Trek has probably seen the tricorder, the magical device used by Dr. McCoy to scan patients for a whole host of possible ailments. Interest in the practicality of that device really picked up with the Scanadu Scout that raised over $1.6 million. However, there’s plenty that technology can do long before the days of warp drives and phasers.
Take, for example, MedWand. The compact device combines seven medical diagnostic tools in one to send data and images to a doctor available via a telemedicine call. The MedWand allows the remote physician to check out the inside of the patients’ noses, ears or throats, or monitor their heartbeat or blood oxygen level. This information is sent to an app via Bluetooth although it is no doubt the company’s intent to have it compatible with apps from multiple healthcare providers MedWand seeks $75,000 on Indiegogo by May 28th. A $199 unit that represents a $50 discount off the retail price is due to ship in October.
Unlike products with tricorder ambitions, the MedWand is designed for today’s medical landscape… almost. Telemedicine is still immature and relatively unavailable. However, it stands to fill in a critical gap for immobile patior rural patients. The success of the product will likely come down to the company’s ability to convince insurers to at least partially subsidize its costs.