Published: 25 July 2013
Article Excerpt: You'll soon be able to embrace your inner Bones McCoy. Decades after "Star Trek" made the small device that could scan for vital signs famous, the medical tricorder is ready for prime time.
The small handheld medical reader used by Dr. Leonard McCoy in "Star Trek" has been replaced by a smartphone. The real-life tricorder is a sleek, square device called a Scanadu Scout that works with your phone.
The Scanadu can read your vitals in 10 seconds, measuring heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate, blood pressure, ECG, and emotional stress. You hold it to your forehead and the information is wirelessly transmitted to your smartphone. It works on iOS and Android devices.
Link to the full news story here.
InterpretAmerica's take: Last week Katharine's Blog, Do You Need an Interpreter or Translator for That?, focused on shifting points of communication between healthcare providers, as well as methods of communication. Out of 14 provider - patient contacts observed for a single patient, only 1 involved a face-to-face meeting between the doctor and patient. Today's Interpreting the News is another example of changing communication pathways in healthcare that will have a huge impact on us as individual patients and for the interpreting profession. The advent of what was once relegated to science fiction, the "tricorder" is a tool that makes it possible for patients to monitor their health at home or to choose their provider, even if their doctor is far away. How language access is to be provided for patients in these new quasi "self care" settings remains to be seen. Finding those solutions is an urgent task before our profession.