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The original 1960s Star Trek series took place in a universe of the future with personal communicators, holograms, and the technology to send humans beyond our solar system. In many ways that future is here. We have smartphones, virtual reality, space travel — and now the tricorder.

In the show, the tricorder was a handheld medical device that could scan a patient, read his or her vital signs, and diagnose problems in minutes. A working prototype invented by a Philadelphia-based emergency room physician Basil Harris may not look like the ones used by Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy and Commander Beverly Crusher throughout the sci-fi series, but it’s advanced enough to offer a medical diagnosis in minutes and anyone can use it.

The device — which won top honors during the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition — still needs to undergo more testing and receive regulatory approval before it’s available to consumers. But Harris said that may happen in just a few years and he’s aiming to keep the price around $200.

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Brothers George, Basil and Gus Harris examine prop tricorders from the Star Trek series. Courtesy of XPRIZE

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Click link below for article and videos:

http://www.nbcnews.com/mach/technology/these-er-docs-invented-real-star-trek-tricorder-n755631

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