A research team at the University of Glasgow in Scotland have been award a grant to create a diagnostic device similar to what Star Trek fans would call a Tricorder. The device is referred to a "multicorder" and the hopes are to simulate a whole lab in the device.
With a £3.4 million grant from from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) the team team has four years to develop the device. The Multicorder will contain a variety of custom built sensors to provide a look at an individuals current condition by taking various measurements of such things as metabolites from samples of the patient's saliva and blood.
Professor David Cumming, the University's lead on the project stated that;
"What we're hoping is that we'll be able to replicate the capabilities of a whole lab in a single handheld device, making it much easier for doctors, paramedics and other medical professionals to make effective diagnoses. For countries in the developing world where access to laboratory tests can be limited, multicorder technology could mean the difference between life and death for patients."
This is quite the ambitious project, but if successful could mean many breakthroughs in not only medical diagnostic ability for medical professionals, but could some day reach the consumer market to help people better diagnose potential problems at home. Jump to the source to see all the potential they see for this device.