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Meet DxtER™the Tricorder

This episode of Popping the Bubbl has Jon filling in as co-host for Sandra who was busy making the SFNew Tech and Latina Geeks events happen. Jon and I traveled to the XPrize offices in LA to meet and interview Dr. Basil Harris, members of his family and team.

Dr. Basil Harris and his brother George formed Basil Leaf Technologies in 2012. Their goal -- to create a tricorder just like the one used in Star Trek. Four years later the Harris brothers and their team presented DxtER™ which ultimately won First Prize in the

Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition.

Over the course of the competition, the Basil Leaf team, called “Final Frontier Medical Devices” won over three million dollars. They also earned the right to say “XPrize Winner” as they approach VCs.

As an aside, the brain power on the Final Frontier Medical Devices team is ridiculous. On this team, if your resume only has a single Master’s degree, you’ll barely make the cut; this crew is stacked with people with multiple secondary degrees.

Dr. Harris, who has practiced emergency room medicine for over 15 years, also holds a PhD in Engineering #smartpeoplegonnasmart. As an ER physician, the past 12 years at Lankenau Medical Center of Main Line Health Dr. Harris wanted to create an interactive consumer-level tool to help potential patients monitor and improve personal health. Beyond that, DxtER™ also diagnoses illnesses and has the capability to send results to your physician.

DxtER™ has a series of non-invasive sensors that take your bio data compared to past patients with actual conditions and the unit synthesizes your unique assessment. Truly, this is Star Trek made into reality.

When discussing the role of DxtER™ in the medical process Dr. Harris says, “This isn’t to replace doctors, this helps make doctors more efficient.” This is exactly what we need when access to medical care in the US is among our greatest medical challenges. Further, giving potential patients the knowledge of the severity of their affliction allows for better management, prevention and care.

My father passed away in January from pneumonia, if he had a DxtER ™ he would have had more accurate information prompting him to get to a doctor earlier instead of erroneously self-diagnosing as only having a cold which ultimately cost him his life. For $200, a family can have the ability to test for 34 maladies. Dr. Harris sees DxtER™ performing more than 100 diagnoses in the near future; think about what that means in your home. Dr. Harris suggests that 40% of his patients in the US don’t have consistent access to medical care; a tricorder would impact millions of lives.

DxtER™ also helps patients manage chronic illness: asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure, diabetes, Dr. Harris notes, “I see these patients when their conditions get out of hand. If I can see them before, instead of waiting until the patient finally realizes they are in trouble…”

Now think about what that means where doctors are truly in short supply. As organizations like Doctors Without Borders, the CDC and the WHO, start to leverage the big data that comes in from DxtER™s all over the world enables greater access to medical aid, prescriptions and advice to people far removed from a clinic—something I’ll call remote care occurs. This help allows physician to reach distant villages remotely reducing the burden on villagers to travel miles to clinics on foot.

DxtER™ creates the ability to deploy doctors in anticipation of cholera, the flu, even things like the Ebola virus with greater accuracy and anticipation. DxtER™ tricorders will allow for greater coverage, better resourcing, greater access where it’s needed most.


DxtEr™ won first prize, but we can’t lose sight that other entrants that were also successful and received valuable funding to aid in their innovation.

Congratulations to Qualcomm, XPrize and Final Frontier Medical Devices for successfully inspiring, creating and funding an invention that will dramatically improve how we get and stay well.

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