We could feed you a line about the final frontier or exploring strange new worlds, but we'll just give it to you straight: the X-Prize Foundation has teamed up with Qualcomm to design the Tricorder X-Prize, a $10 million competition designed to boldly go where no contest has gone before. Sorry, we couldn't help ourselves. The most recent addition to the ambitious X-Prize stable is aimed at producing a mobile medical device, similar to those used on Star Trek, that can "diagnose patients better than or equal to a panel of board certified physicians." Said device would allow regular folks to "quickly and effectively assess health conditions, determine if they need professional help," and then decide on a plan of action. The Tricorder X-Prize competition is still in the planning stages and should be ready to launch sometime in 2012. Full PR after the break.

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The X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm Join Forces to Develop a Competition to Enhance Integrated Digital Health

PLAYA VISTA, CA--(Marketwire - May 10, 2011) - The X PRIZE Foundation, the leading nonprofit organization solving the world's Grand Challenges of our time by creating and managing large-scale, global incentivized competitions, today announced a collaboration with Qualcomm Incorporated to design the Tricorder X PRIZE, a $10 million prize to develop a mobile solution that can diagnose patients better than or equal to a panel of board certified physicians. The X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm seeks to achieve this by combining advancements in expert systems and medical point of care data such as wireless sensors, advancements in medical imaging and microfluidics.

The Tricorder X PRIZE aims to incentivize consumer empowerment in healthcare by extending the reach of health information and services to more people. This prize will bring understandable, easily accessible health information and metrics to consumers on their mobile devices, pointing them to earlier actions for care.

"For years, Qualcomm has been transforming lives by connecting people through incredible technologies," said Dr. Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. "The X PRIZE Foundation is honored to work with Qualcomm to positively affect health consumers by developing a prize that will revolutionize consumer's access to health data and information."

The collaboration between the X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm will bring together experts in technology usability, wireless sensors, cloud computing and mobile health to accelerate the convergence of these fields. The winning tool will enable consumers in any location to quickly and effectively assess health conditions, determine if they need professional help and answer the question, "What do I do next?"

"Qualcomm strives to provide a means to see choices, make decisions and get the right care faster and more conveniently. We believe this is a fundamental step in helping people become true 'Health Consumers' who can have as much say in assessing and accessing healthcare as they would any other service or product," said Don Jones, Vice President of Wireless Health Strategy and Market Development at Qualcomm Labs. "Qualcomm believes the value of this X PRIZE is also in changing the cost structure and focus of healthcare. By having consumers take the initial actions to obtain health assessment data, the use and the quality of physicians' time is improved."

Eugene Wesley "Rod" Roddenberry, Jr., son of Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry, commented, "It is great to see two amazing organizations -- the X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm -- bring the technology of Star Trek to life and make the Tricorder a reality for people everywhere."

The X PRIZE Foundation will be collaborating with industry experts and advisors to complete the Tricorder X PRIZE design in 2011. It expects to launch the competition in early 2012.

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X-Prize reveals plans for tricorder competition, suspiciously lacking Nimoy endorsement