Scanadu: how an Indiegogo project aims to change healthcare forever [Wired 2013]



The final session of the day (titled “Tracking Your Signals”) at the Wired 2013 conference kicked off with Scanadu‘s Walter de Brouwer shocking the audience with the breathtaking (sometimes scary) potential of its Tricorder device (the Scanadu Scout). Before you read on, watch this…

Impressive, huh? The talk was equally interesting — a mix of consumer research best practice and behavioural economics. Not what anyone expected but the mix leaves you wanting to know more.

What’s important with devices like this ultimately is trust. People need to trust the device and the technology behind it (and not be aware of it) but forces act upon them such as data ownership concerns, fear of being wrong, previous charging experience, reliability, etc. All are surmountable, but peer-to-peer medicine is still way off.

Scanadu wants consumers to “enjoy the self-diagnosis experience”. While I’m not sure that’s ever possible, I’m glad I live in a world where this is the goal. Things can always be better. The cost and emergency service resource savings alone — if it gets the mix right — make this thinking a necessity.

The prediction? 2017 will see Tricorders go non-invasive… even wearable. By 2018? Tricorders will be environmental — passive data collection takes over and we see a switch to health care without thinking or acting on it — it just happens. Scanadu goes even further and predicts a 43% penetration rate by 2020.

Now that’s a ballsy company I like. Best of all though? It all started on Indiegogo. No massive company, no NGO, just smart people with a passion. More please.

At the end of the day, Elon Musk said it best when he tested out The Scanadu Scout recently, “This is what the world needs.” I’m sure most people agree.



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