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New Standoff Patient Triage Tool Could Be The Great Grandfather Of A Real-Life Tricorder

Star Trek Mark IX Science Tricorder Replica (Image courtesy Entertainment Earth) By Andrew Liszewski

A new medical diagnosis device known as the SPTT, or Standoff Patient Triage Tool, could be our first glimpse at a real-life tricorder, or at the least a primitive ancestor of one. The SPTT uses lasers to measure vibrations of a human head and chest to calculate the vital signs of a patient, like pulse, body temperature and muscle movement from a distance of up to 40 feet away.

Now the device is no replacement for a doctor or a paramedic, but in the event of an accident or emergency where there are multiple victims, it could let first responders determine who needs medical treatment first, a process known as triage. Normally it takes a medic about 3 to 5 minutes per person to determine the severity of their condition or injuries, but using the SPTT it could take as little as 30 seconds, which really could mean the difference between life and death.

The Standoff Patient Triage Tool is expected to start field tests sometime this Fall.

[ Scientific American - Trekkie triage: Could a new device aid medics? ] VIA [ io9 ]