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With $2 million in funding, Scanadu will turn your smartphone into a medical tricorder

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Who knew? Your smartphone may soon be your pocket doctor.

Just like the mobile industry needed a cell phone to flourish, the auto-diagnosis market also needs a device that can communicate health data to doctors.

A startup named Scanadu thinks its medical tricorder could do the trick. And yes, it's a tool inspired by Star Trek.

Playfish co-founder Sebastien De Halleux and others put in $2 million into the Belgium startup, though it is relocating to NASA's Research Park in the Bay Area.

The medical tricorder is meant for parents who want to keep an eye on their kids' health, reports the Singularity Hub. It's a pocket doctor of sorts: Hooked up to your smartphone, it can take vital signs so it can make a diagnosis on the spot.

(It can measure blood pressure, pulmonary function, and temperature and wirelessly transmit that info your doctor.)

That way, a parent can determine if the child needs to just stay home and rest, actually go see a doctor, or head to the emergency room right away.

This would save a lot of money, by helping people make better decisions. For instance, a study in update New York found that 40 percent of emergency room visits are unnecessary.

Watch the trailer explaining the device:

In the future, the team will hook up a special camera so the device can make sense of rashes. And the team hopes to also hook up a microfluidic part so blood and saliva samples can be diagnosed by this pocket doctor.

According to Singularity Hub:

Wireless technologies are revolutionizing medicine. Wearable scanners that give patients and doctors health information is expected to reach 80 million by 2016, according to ABI Research. The smartphone is already being used to read our glucose levels, check for sexually transmitted diseases, read a digital stethoscope, and give a doctor access to patient medical records.

via Singularity Hub

Photo via Scanadu blog

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Boonsri Dickinson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech, Technewsdaily.com, Techstartups.com and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure