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If you’ve been waiting for all the tech gadgets used in the various Star Trek TV shows and movies to hit the  market, you know we’ve gotten closer over the years. Touch-tablets for reading, two-way visual conversations over long distances, and talking computers have all become a reality — but that amazing Tricorder is still on the horizon.  Or is it?

A new sensor device called the Reusable Handheld Electrolyte and Lab Technology for Humans (rHealth X), manufactured by the DNA Medical Institute (DMI) in Massachusetts, uses lasers and minuscule test strips to scan a single drop of blood and detect a whole range of diseases, from the flu to Ebola. The blood mixes with the nano-strips and determines things like number of platelets, blood glucose, or thyroid function. It’s capable of performing 22 different tests.

The rHealth X also comes with a wearable gadget that will monitor your heart rate and breathing, and transmit the info to your smart phone. Sending all of your vitals directly to your doctor in this way might be the Holy Grail: Remote diagnosis. And who doesn’t want to save a trip to the doctor?

The DMI team that is developing the rHealth X has just been awarded the $525,000 Nokia Sensing X Challenge prize. It will use the money to further perfect the device, which will eventually come in consumer and health care professional models.

The transporter will have to wait, though.

Photo: Bobbie Johnson via Flickr

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