Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tricorders - Soon in Med Kit Near You

Say you’re on a camping trip with your family. It’s a nice spring day and everyone’s having a great time. Then your uncle decided to be adventurous but he took a little tumble and some unfortunate forest plants happened to be there and they happily broke his fall.

Then he said, “I think I broke something.”

Everyone rushed over to see how he was. To the naked eye, he looked fine. Still, your uncle seemed to be in quite a bit of pain. You’re calm and in control and you asked for the first aid kit. Cousin Sylvia handed it to you and opened it up took out a palm-sized device that every mistook for a cell phone.

Everyone wondered if you were trying to call for help. You opened up the clam-shelled device and it immediately turned on. You pressed a few buttons and the device cheerfully beeped back. You directed the device at your uncle and there was some readouts on the LCD screen.

You read it and said, “Looks like you have some cuts but they’re not deep. We can take care of it here. There’s nothing broken but you did sprained your left ankle.”

Such a device will one day be standard in a first aid kit, doctors’ offices, hospitals, or the pockets of any health care providers if the new multispectral imaging technology from Georgia Tech is as promising as researchers have indicated.

Provided with specific parameters and standards, the device can be an effect diagnostic tool in a myriad of different fields. FDA inspectors, chemical engineers, and law enforcement investigators will have a power weapon that allows them to make on sight analysis that might otherwise require samples be collected and sent to laboratories for test results.

This new technology, dubbed the “narrowband filter mosaic”, is capable of scanning different spectrums that would otherwise require bigger machines and time. This will no doubt remind Star Trek fans of the ubiquitous device known as the “tricorder”.

Due its low cost, this “tricorder” technology could be one day be a standard feature on mobile phones that help specialists out in the field without carrying additional equipments, providing additional savings.

Now if they can only tell the difference between human and Romulan life signs, then we’re money. Get to it, folks.

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