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SDSU Students to Build Mobile Health Tools of the Future

Aired 4/30/13 on KPBS News.

Dozens of San Diego State University students and faculty members will be spending the next year trying to change the way we monitor our health. If they're successful, they could be $10 million richer.

Dozens of San Diego State University students and faculty members will be spending the next year trying to change the way we monitor our health.

While studying for his MBA, Lambert Ninteman is also leading SDSU's 60-person team hoping to win Qualcomm's X-Prize Tricorder Competition.

They're gearing up for Qualcomm's Tricorder X-Prize Competition, where they'll go head to head with more than 250 teams from around the world.

The goal is to create a game-changing mobile health device using smartphones and other wireless technology. These tools would keep tabs on patients' vital signs and other health metrics, wherever they happen to be. Picture the instant-diagnosis gadgets from Star Trek, but in the real world.

The winning team will receive a $10 million windfall. But for SDSU's team captain Lambert Ninteman, the project is about more than money. As a childhood cancer survivor, he was lucky to receive early and effective treatment.

"I was in chemo a week from having a biopsy done," he said, recalling his bout with Hodgkin's lymphoma. "If I hadn't been, I wouldn't be here. So it was luck and good administration. Right time, right place."

Now, Ninteman hope to create something that will take luck out of the equation when it comes to detecting such diseases.

"We have to be able to change those odds," he says.

Ninteman and his teammates have until April 10, 2014 to work on the device that could improve those odds.

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