The Tricorder, An All-In-One Diagnostic Device, Draws Nigh
Comment of the Day

March 24 2015

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

The Tricorder, An All-In-One Diagnostic Device, Draws Nigh

Thanks to a subscriber for this article from concentrating on the Qualcomm sponsored Tricorder X-Prize. Here is a section: 

“We’re pretty confident that the majority of the 10 finalist teams will actually be able to deliver,” senior director Grant Company said. “Some may merge, and some may fall out, just because they can’t pull it together. And that just reinforces how big of a challenge this really is. It’s because the goals are very high.”

The winning “tricorder”—and its competitors—likely have a long FDA approval process ahead of them, which means their consumer release could be years away. But when they do arrive, they will be able to diagnose problems like stroke, anemia and tuberculosis—tasks that have always been reserved for doctors.

Diagnosis: Home Diagnosis
Such devices will arrive at an interesting time in medical history. With the emergence of mobile phones and wearable devices, home diagnostics are poised to explode.

Company said the Apple Watch and affiliated software development, will be a welcome boost for the space.

?“I think it’s a good first step, and a useful barometer of what the public’s appetite is for this type of technology,” Company said. “There’s going to be a need of collection and analysis, and these types of tools are going to be absolutely critical. If the masses are able to start building capabilities, using these research kits, it’s the first step toward adoption.”

Eoin Treacy's view

I grew up watching Star Trek The Next Generation with my father and brothers and I suspect a number of people engaged in developing new technologies such as a tricorder are of a similar vintage. 

This article by Anna McCollister-Slipp highlights how the vast majority of the health system is geared towards acute care when chronic conditions represent a major challenge. It is this latter group that will be helped most by a more cohesive data acquisition and interpretation strategy. This is likely to be pioneered by new technologies such as tricorders and wearables. 

Qualcomm (Est P/E 13.8, DY 2.78%) hit a medium-term peak last year and has held a progression of lower rally highs since. It encountered resistance three weeks ago in the region of the 200-day MA, posting a large downside weekly key reversal, and will need to sustain a move above the trend mean to demonstrate a return to demand dominance. 


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