Competition Guidelines Are Live!
By Eileen Bartholomew on March 29, 2012
The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE’s Competition Guidelines are now available on the prize website! This version is only a draft, but highlights the key objectives and rule-set for the competition. The team has been working on this prize design for the past year, which involved countless interviews with the top experts and doctors in biomedical technologies and healthcare innovation.
We know many of you have been eagerly waiting to find out not only the structure of the competition, but the specific conditions that teams need to diagnose. This has been a monumental task!
We’re excited for potential teams and the general public to review our Competition Guidelines and provide us feedback on our competition goals, objectives and requirements. Together, we can create a future where health really can be in the palm of your hand.
So, on to what this competition is really about:
The winner(s) of the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE will be the best-performing solutions in their abilities to diagnose a set of 15 distinct conditions in a pool of people within three days, while providing a strong consumer experience. In addition, the winning solutions must:
- Meet minimum scores for both diagnosis and consumer experience
- Continuously monitor five vital signs over the course of the consumer testing period and log this data to the cloud
- Have a maximum mass of no more 5 than pounds
Prizes will be awarded to a maximum of three solutions from the Final Round:
- 1st Place = $7,000,000
- 2nd Place = $2,000,000
- 3rd Place = $1,000,000
One of the biggest considerations for the competition is selecting the appropriate set of conditions around which to frame the competition. This set must balance a number of different factors to ensure that teams are motivated to compete, are solving difficult challenges, and are working toward attainable targets. Several factors have been taken under consideration in the initial selection of these conditions including:
- Relevance. In this context, relevance includes the significance of a disease—in terms of factors such as prevalence, incidence, potential threat, morbidity, and mortality—as well as the effectiveness of therapeutics.
- Precision. In terms of the condition itself, precision tries to capture its permanence and absoluteness. Many diseases recognized today will inevitably turn out to be multiple, different illnesses masquerading as a similar set of symptoms. And many of the tests that health workers currently rely on to diagnose disease will be replaced by more accurate investigations. The challenge is that what are considered diagnostic “gold standards” today may rapidly prove inferior to newer methods. Thus, the very yardsticks used to define illness may prove to be a moving target. Where possible, it is important to pick conditions that we can identify in absolute terms and establish standards against which teams can be compared.
- Advancing Sensing. Much of the process of de-skilling medicine into the hands of the consumer will come as a result of more precise diagnostic tests. This will be broadly achieved by improvements in sensing technology, whether in the form of traditional laboratory tests, accelerometers, non-invasive blood pressure readings, or rapid PCR. By choosing conditions that are likely to result in a diversity of sensing modalities, the competition can select for teams that foster successful partnerships and build expertise in multiple diagnostic domains.
In the Qualifying Round, teams will be expected to demonstrate an ability to detect a minimum of five of the 12 Core Set conditions as well as a minimum of three of the five Vital Signs Set conditions. In the Final Round, teams will be expected to handle all 12 Core Set conditions, all five from the Vital Signs Set, and three conditions of their choosing from the Elective Set.
The final conditions for each set will be selected by the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE Judging Committee around Q3 2012; proposed conditions are listed below.
The Core Set includes:
2. Urinary tract infection
4. Atrial fibrillation
5. Strep throat
6. Sleep apnea
8. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
9. Abnormalities in a comprehensive metabolic panel
12. Absence of disease
The Vital Signs Set includes:
1. Arterial blood pressure
4. Respiratory rate
5. Pulse oximetry
The Elective Set includes:
1. Urine culture and sensitivity equivalent
2. Bacterial or viral sexually transmitted infections
3. Acute pharyngitis and the causative organism
4. Outpatient rashes
5. Bacteremia and its causative organism
6. Abdominal aortic aneurysm, presence and size
7. Lung cancer
8. HPV DNA for cervical cancer screening
9. Pneumonia and causative organism
10. Vision problems including refractive errors, cataracts, and macular degeneration
11. Colon cancer
Whew. That’s not a small task to ask of teams! Still, one has to start somewhere, and this is where we’ll draw our starting line.
But we don’t want it to stop there; as with all XPRIZES, we want this competition to create a new industry, a future filled with “tricorder-like” devices. This prize will usher in a new reality, one where hundreds (if not thousands) of health conditions can be diagnosed, monitored, or even prevented by such solutions—all over the world.
Here’s to taking the first step towards that future!