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Wireless Health Sensor Undergoes Clinical Trial At Scripps

The Scanadu Scout is pictured in this undated courtesy photo.
The Scanadu Scout is pictured in this undated courtesy photo.

A wireless health sensor that measures four vital signs by touching the device to the temple is undergoing its first clinical trial, which is being directed by the Scripps Translational Science Institute, it was announced Wednesday.

The Scanadu Scout, which can relay results to both the user and researchers in a few seconds, is among the finalists for the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder Xprize, a challenge to create a device based on the fictional hand-held wireless medical device depicted in the "Star Trek" television series.

"As more wireless health sensors become available to consumers, it is critical that these technologies undergo independent, scientific testing to validate their effectiveness and value," said Dr. Eric Topol, who directs the Scripps Translational Science Institute and serves as chief academic officer of Scripps Health.


"This study fully reflects the institute's mission of clinical validation of promising digital technology before it goes into mainstream medicine," he said.

The device developed by Silicon Valley-based Scanadu, measures heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen level and temperature through multiple electrodes and an infrared sensor.

It's being tested for six months by more than 4,000 people, selected from among 5,000 or so who invested in a crowdfunding campaign.

Scripps Translational Science Institute researchers want to find out how easy it is to use the device, around the size of a makeup compact, and whether it changes health behaviors, such as patient communications with their physicians.

Users began the six-month testing period after they received the device. Their data is relayed to Scripps Translational Science Institute researchers via a smartphone app.


Final Xprize judging is scheduled for December and January, according to organizers of the competition.