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HeartyPatch is an Open Source Wireless ECG Patch Powered by ESP32 WiSoC (Crowdfunding)

October 2nd, 2017 No comments

Smart health gadgets will soon have a bigger part to play in our lives, especially for health monitoring. It mainly started with fitness trackers, but now we are starting to see connected devices such as blood pressure monitors, including the upcoming watch like Omron HeartVue, thermometer, scales, vital sign monitoring systems, certified medical SBC‘s to allow engineers to developer their own medical applications, and even open source surgical robots.

HeartPatch is one of those medical board that specifically aims at measuring ECG data, and sent it over Bluetooth or WiFi thanks to Espressif ESP32 WiSoC.

HeartPatch specifications:

  • SoC – Espressif Systems ESP32 dual core Tensilica LX6 processor with Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
  • ECG Chip – Maxim MAX30003 analog front-end
  • USB – 1x micro USB connector for programming, data, power, and battery charging
  • Debugging – USB-UART bridge based on CP2104
  • Misc – Onboard Snap-on Buttons for disposable electrode pads, RGB LED,
  • Battery – 450 mAH LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – 65 mm x 42 mm x 4 mm without battery; Dimensions with Case: ~70 mm x 46 mm x 12.7 mm

Basic Kit with Battery and Electrodes

The developers explain that HeartyPatch has several advantages over other low-price heart monitors:

  • ECG-based R-R Interval Measurement is more accurate than optical heart-rate measurement
  • Wide Dynamic Range for robust functioning during movement (not available in traditional ECG monitors)
  • Mathematical and Machine Learning Algorithms for automatic detection of arrhythmia, stress, and several other physiological conditions (not available with regular heart-rate patches)
  • Small, Wearable Form-factor with snap connectors for disposable, pre-gelled ECG electrodes.
  • Open Source and Non-proprietary – can be used with any software or algorithm

HealthyPatch is fully open source hardware with all files available on Github. The current GUI can support three modes:  beat-to-beat, Arrhythmia detection, and Heart-rate variability. If you have the required skills, you’d be able to add other modes to the user interface, or even roll your own. Note that ESP32 currently supports all BLE profiles, but the baseband works only in Bluetooth Classic mode. It will not affect the function, but battery life will be shorter than normal. Espressif Systems claims this will be fixed in the next release (SDK or Silicon?). If you want to follow the project’s progress over time, you may want to visit the Hackaday.io page.

HeartyPatch has just been launched on CrowdSupply, where you can get the basic kit with the board, a 450 mAh Li-Ion battery (soldered to the board), and a set of 10 disposable electrode pads with a $87 or more pledge. You can also add a case for $15, and shipping is free to the US, $15 to the rest of the world. Delivery is scheduled for December 14, 2017.

Review of Koogeek BP2 Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor

September 16th, 2017 3 comments

Koogeek BP2 is an FDA approved smart blood pressure monitor that connects over Bluetooth to your Android or iOS smartphone, or WiFi to the cloud. The company sent me a sample for evaluation, so let’s get started right away.

Koogeek BP2 Unboxing

The device is sent in a cardboard package with Koogeek brand…

and some more derails about the specifications on the bottom of the package.

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I asked the company to confirm about FDA approval, and they told me to look for K134029 on the FDA website, which lead me to this document testing Shenzhen Belter Health Management and Analysis ePA-46B, and comparing it to the results of Omron HEM-7200-Z (BP742) with the conclusion being that:

The Belter Blood pressure meter (ePA-46B) is substantially equivalent to the predicate devices.

Koogeek BP2 is the same as Belter ePA-46B, but just rebranded, and with a different mobile app.

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In the package will find the device with the cuff attached to the main unit with an LCD display.

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The top of the unit comes with a power button, an LED, a reset pin hole, and a micro USB port for charging the 400 mAh battery.

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The package also included a charging cable and a multi-language quick start guide.

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We’ll find marking for CE and FDA approval on the cuff, and it’s a medium cuff designed for arms between 22 and 36 cm circumference.

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The blood pressure monitor wraps aroudn your upper arm, and is kept in place with Velcro. But before going ahead, you may want to read the user manual…

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..with two pages per language, except for Chinese where there are more details provided. Beside English, and Chinese, other languages include French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. You may also want to charge the monitor before starting. It took about two hours to fully charge the device, with the LED blinking while charging, and solid once it is completed.

Koogeek BP2 Blood Pressure Monitor Review

In theory, you could use the blood pressure monitor without smartphone, by pressing the button once to power it, and another time to start measurement, with diastolic and systolic blood pressure and heart rate shown on the display at the end. But mostly people will likely prefer to use a smartphone to keep track of the evolution instead of relying on pen and paper, and download Koogeek app available for Android or iOS.

 

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Once it’s done, you’ll be asked to login and join Koogeek. THe latter can be done with an email, Facebook or Google+ account. I first tried with Facebook, and it failed with an HTTP 500 error, but I could go ahead with Google+.

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You’ll then be prompted to created a new user. For the date of birth, make sure to tap on the year, as it makes it much faster than scrolling through the months… Also indicate your height and weight, and click on create a new user.

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You’ll then be shown the timeline (empty), and can start using the monitor as follows:

  1. Tap on the Heart icon
  2. Select “Arm type” (first time only)
  3. Place BP2 monitor on your upper arm with your elbow on the table to make sure the monitor is at heart level, and place your hand palm up
  4. Turn on the monitor
  5. It will establish a Bluetooth connection, and within a few seconds later the Start button will show up
  6. Select the user (if more than one), and press Start, the cuff will inflate and take the measurement. This should take less than one minute
  7. The results will be shown on the smartphone and the LCD display on the monitor
  8. Koogeek BP2 monitor will automatically turn off after 15 seconds. Do not press the button, as it would just start measurement again

The screenshot on the right above shows the results for systolic and diastolic blood pressure in a diagram with 6 different zones:

  • Green – Optimal blood pressure
  • Blue – Normal blood pressure
  • Yellow – High blood pressure (within the normal range)
  • Orange – Mild hypertension
  • Orange Red – Moderate to high blood pressure
  • Red – Severe Hypertension

I’ve shot a video to show the full process.

In theory, after the first setup with the app, you can take measurements and upload results to the cloud without your smartphone. In the timeline, click the + button which will allow you to install a new device.

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The company also offers smart scales, thermometers,  fitness trackers, etc.., but for our use case, I selected KS-BP2 device, and set it up to connect to my WiFi router. I then tried to make a measurement without starting the app, pressing the power button once to start it up, and once again to start measurement, and at the end I could see the WiFi icon on the display showing it upload the data to the cloud, but it may have gone too high, and to medical records heaven, as I was unable to retrieve the results in my phone. I had setup two users at the time, so maybe that’s why. There’s an unknown measurement section in the app, but the results were not their either.

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You can create and switch between users in the timeline by tapping on the blue round icon in the bottom left corner with the initials of the current selected users, or switch between users and access to more settings by tapping on the three bars icon on the top left, which will also allow you to set reminders, adjust settings such as app language, units, Google Fit support, and so on. We’ve created two fictitious users to take daily measurements on two different real 🙂 humans between Monday and Saturday, and for each user you can access a chart with the blood pressure over time…

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.. as well as heart rate, and a full list of measurements is also accessible. If you can see some outliers, it’s likely a problem with the measurements, but not due to the device. For example, Marge Simpson had a normal blood pressure only on September 11, but we can see the heartrate at 92 bpm was higher than during the other days, and so it must have interfered with the measurement, as we should have waited a little longer after sitting, before starting taking the blood pressure.

Koogeek BP2 (aka KS-BP2) works as expected most of the time, and results appears to be in line with reality based on each respective patient’s history, but I had troubles using WiFi to cloud function when not using my smartphone, and once the blood pressure monitor started to inflate, deflate, inflate, etc…as if it had troubles completing the measurements. I could easily stop it by pressing the power button to turn it off, and restarted it to make a successful measurement right after.

I’d like to thank Koogeek for sending the review sample, and Koogeek BP2 can be purchased for $69.99 on Amazon. Koogeek is a TomTop brand, so you’ll also find their products on Tomtop.com.

SanStar WS-3A Medical Board Runs Android 5.1 on Rockchip RK3288 SoC

September 12th, 2017 2 comments

Warp United, a “Chinese Health 2.0″/point-of-Care medical technology company based in Shenzhen, launched Warp 3 medical recorder – an Android powered handheld device supporting various  vital signs and ultrasound medical modules – earlier this year,  and the company has now just introduced SanStar WS-3A motherboard powered by Rockchip RK3288 quad core Cortex-A17 SoC, and running Android 5.1 in order to allow engineers to develop and connect their own medical modules via the various interfaces of the board, and create their own medical products.

SanStar WS-3A medical motherboard specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3288 quad core Cortex-A17 processor @ 1.8GHz with an ARM Mali-T764 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL, Directx11
  • System Memory – 2GB or 4GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB eMMC flash, micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Video Output / Display I/F
    • HDMI 2.0 up to 3840 x 2160 pixel
    • embedded DisplayPort (eDP)
    • 10-bit dual LVDS, MIPI DSI, 1x backlight header, 1x I2C interface for touchscreen
  • Audio – audio input, output, MIC interfaces, HDMI out.
  • Connectivity
    • Isolated 10/100M Ethernet interface
    • Dual band  802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
    • SIM slot for support for cellular networks via 4G LTE, 3G, 2G modules
    • Optional GPS module : -159dBm, 1575.42MHz, 20 channels, positioning accuracy <10m
  • USB – 7x USB host, 1x USB OTG
  • Serial – 2x RS232
  • Expansion – 4x custom I/O ports, mini PCie interface
  • Camera – USB/MIPI camera up to 13MP
  • Sensors – Support for 3-axis G-sensor, gyroscope, compass
  • Misc – IR receiver; 3x user keys; 1x 12V cooling fan header; 3x LEDs for power, status, and user; RTC with battery; watchdog timer
  • Power Supply – 12V @ 3A-5A via power barrel connector
  • Dimension – 145(L) x 90(W) x 22(H) mm
  • Weight – 99.27g
  • Conformity
    • ISO 13485:2003 Medical devices – Quality management systems – Requirements for regulatory purposes
    • EN 60601-1: 2006 + A1: 2013 Medical Electrical Equipment – Part 1: General Requirements for Basic Safety and Essential Performance
    • EN 60601-1-2:2007 Medical electrical equipment – Part 1-2: General requirements for basic safety and essential performance – Collateral standard: Electromagnetic compatibility – Requirements and tests
    • EN 60950-1:2006+A11:2009+A1:2010+A12:2011 Information technology equipment – Safety –Part 1: General requirements

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The board runs Android 5.1, and support up to two independent screens, or one 4K screen. The best way to find out what’s possible with the board is to check out what the company has done with Warp 3 medical recorder system comprised of a 7″ RK3288 tablet communicating with Volans 3 Vital Sign Module to gather ECG, heart rate (HR), respiration (Resp) rate, temperature (Temp), SpO2, pulse rate (PR), and non-invasive blood pressure (NIBP), as well as various “Urxa 3” ultrasound modules. Software includes an interface to display all those metrics on the tablet, as well as support for cloud based mobile health (mHealth) and EMRs (electronic medical records).

SanStar WS-3A single board computer is available now at an undisclosed price. Visit Warp United’s SanStar WS-3A product page for further details.

Via LinuxGizmos

$99 Inforce IFC6420 Qualcomm Snapdragon 600E Board Comes with 3 HDMI Out/In Ports

September 11th, 2017 3 comments

Inforce Computing has introduced the first board of their “Application Ready Platforms” family with Inforce 6420 SBC powered by Qualcomm Snpadragon 600 / 600E processor, and equipped with three HDMI ports including one HDMI input, and two independent HDMI outputs making suitable for products needing streaming, content sharing or rendering on multiple displays. The board also comes with WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, etc… for “edge computing in the IoT space”.

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Inforce 6420 board specifications:

  • SoC –  Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 / 600E (APQ8064 / APQ8064E)  quad core Krait 300 CPU @ up to 1.7 GHz with Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU, and Hexagon DSP
  • System Memory – 2GB on-board DDR3 (PCDDR3-533MHz)
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC flash (expandable to 64GB)
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet via Atheros8151, dual band dual stream 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 via QCA6234
  • Video – 2x HDMI 1.4a outputs up to 1080p, 1x HDMI input up to 1080p
  • Audio – WCD9311 audio codec; 8-channel 7.1 surround sound, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, and DTS-HD via HDMI-out
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – Via USB 2.0 port or/and HDMI input
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V/4A (typ.)
  • Dimensions – 160 mm x 70 mm
  • Temperature Range – 0-70° C
  • RoHS and WEEE compliant

The board comes pre-loaded with Android Lollipop 5.1.1, and the company provide a board support package (BSP) for development. Linux support based on an Open embedded is in progress. The solution is destined to be used for video collaboration, medical applications such as remote diagnosis & treatment, video capture, and smart boards.

Inforce Computing commits to supply Inforce 6420 board for at least 10 years, and you can purchase samples directly on their website for $99. Further information can be found on the product page.

HealthyPi Raspberry Pi HAT Measures ECG, Body Temperature, and Oxygen Saturation (Crowdfunding)

June 12th, 2017 10 comments

Bangalore based ProtonCentral has launched the third version of Healthy Pi, a vital sign monitor using the Raspberry Pi as its computing and display platform, and capable of measuring body temperature, oxygen saturation, and ECG/respiratory data.

Healthy Piv3 board specifications:

  • MCU – Atmel ATSAMD21 ARM Cortex M0 MCU, compatible with Arduino Zero
  • Vital Signs Chips
    • ECG and respiration front-end –  TI ADS1292R 24-bit analog front-end with SNR of 107 dB
    • Pulse oximetry – TI AFE4490 Pulse Oximetry front-end with integrated LED driver and 22-bit ADC
    • Temperature – Maxim MAX30205 digital body temperature sensor for skin temperature sensing
  • Expansions Headers and Ports
    • 1x 40-pin header to connect to Raspberry Pi
    • 2x 3-pin connectors for temperature and BP/GLUCO
    • DB9 connector for finger-clip Spo2 probe
    • 3.5mm jack for ECG cable and probes
    • 1x UART connector for an external blood pressure module
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming
  • Debugging – 10-pin JTAG header
  • Dimensions – 65 mm x 56.5 mm x 6 mm (Raspberry Pi HAT form factor)
  • Weight – 100 g

The board comes with Arduino Zero bootloader, can be programmed with the Arduino IDE or Atmel Studio, and is usable as a standalone board. However, connecting it to a Raspberry Pi 3 board will allow you to leverage WiFi connectivity to communication with a TCP client for telemedicine applications, or using an MQTT client for continuous logging applications for example sending data to an AWS EC2 instance running Thingsboard IoT platform, as well as running Java based HealthyPi GUI on a display. The board is not fully open source hardware, as gerber files and BoM are missing, but they’ve released PDF and EAGLE schematics and PCB layout, as well as GUI and firmware source code on github.

The company launched the board on Crowdsupply, where they have raised over $10,000 dollars so far. There are two main options:

  • $195 Healthy Pi 3 HAT Kit with HealthyPi v3 board, 3-electrode cable with “button” connectors on one end and stereo connector on the other end, Finger-clip Spo2 probe, digital skin temperature sensor, 20 single-use disposable ECG electrodes, and a HAT mounting kit
  • $369 (Early bird)/ $395 Healthy Pi 3 Complete Kit with the content of Healthy Pi 3 HAT Kit plus a Raspberry Pi 3 board, a 16GB microSD card with pre-loaded Raspbian and Healthy Pi software, a 7” touchscreen LCD, SmartiPi Touch enclosure for display and Pi, a 5 V/2.5 A medical-grade power adapter with a country-specific snap-on plug

While they provide a 5V/2.5A power bank, they recommend to use a power bank for safety reasons, and to minimizes noise. If you use the board in standalone connected to a laptop, it is also recommended to run on battery during measurements for extra safety.

Delivery is scheduled for July 10, 2017, and free worldwide shipping is included in the prices above. The system will eventually be sold on ProtoCentral website too.

Samsung S-Patch3 Wearable Health Tracker Based on Samsung Bio-Processor Hits the FCC

June 9th, 2017 No comments

At the end of 2015, Samsung unveiled their S3FBP5A Bio-Processor comprised of an ARM Cortex-M4 MCU, a DSP, and sensors for PPG, ECG (electrocardiography), Skin temperature, BIA, and GSR to have a single package to design tracker able to monitor your health condition. The company demonstrated an early prototype called S-Patch at CES 2016 (See embedded video at the end of this post), and now S-Patch3 wearable health monitoring system has just hit the FCC.

The system has two round shapes case connected via a cable, with one for the battery compartment, and the other containing the Bio Processors, and meant to be placed on your chest. The device can then synchronize the data with your smartphone in real-time over Bluetooth. People with heart conditions may benefit from the system, as if they wish to do so, they could share the data with their doctor. Few documents are publicly available on the FCC website, and while we don’t know the expect launch date of the device itself, the user’s manual and photos will be released on December 3rd, 2017 on the FCC website, which should roughly correspond to the launch date, or at least the official announcement date from Samsung.

Via Sammobile

EduExo DIY Robotic Exoskeleton Kit is Arduino Powered, 3D Printable, Designed for STEM Education (Crowdfunding)

May 12th, 2017 1 comment

Robotic exoskeletons are used for medical purposes such as helping with the rehabilitation of stroke patients, or enable paraplegics to walk again, as well as in the work place to assist people lifting heavy objects. While it’s possible to learn about the theory about exoskeleton technology, practical experience may help grasping all concepts better. However, there are not many courses available, and exoskeletons are usually expensive, so Volker Bartenbach, PhD at ETH in Zürich, has decided to created EduExo robotic exoskeleton kit for education purpose.

The EduExo hardware is based on off-the-shelf components like an Arduino UNO board, a motor, and a force sensor, as well as a rigid exoskeleton structure and cuff interfaces. The latter is optional as you can get the kit without it, and will instead receive the STL files to 3D print the parts yourself.

There’s also a handbook to help you get started in several steps:

  1. Exoskeleton Introduction
  2. Mechanics and Anatomy – Theory + instructions to assemble the kit
  3. Electronics and Software –  Theory + instructions to connect electronic components and write basic software with the Arduino IDE
  4. Control Systems  – Theory explaining the behavior of the exoskeleton, and step by step instructions to implement and test the control systems with the kit.
  5. Virtual Reality and Video Games – Learn how to create a computer game, connect the exoskeleton to your computer (Windows PC) and use it as a game controller. The demo relies on Unity 3D engine
  6. The Muscle Control Extension – You can reproduce your arm movements with the kit using an electromyography-EMG sensor (sold separately)

One you’ve gone through the handbook, you should understand the basics of exoskeletons, and maybe try develop your own algorithm or programs. Note that’s it’s just an educational device, it’s not powerful enough to provide any kind of support.

EduExo has been launched on Kickstarter with a 8,000 CHF ($7,939 US) funding goal. A 15 CHF pledge will get you the e-handbook only. If you have a 3D printer and most of the components, 30 CHF should get you the handbook, 3D STL files, and the components list. A full kit with all parts and a printed handbook requires a 165 CHF pledge (early bird). If you want to play with the Muscle Control Extension part, you’d need to spend $250 for the full kit plus the EMG sensor. You may also learn more about the educational kit and exoskeletons in general on EduExo website.

Via Arduino blog

Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE Selects Two Winners for Commercial Medical Tricorders

April 18th, 2017 No comments

Healthcare takes around 10% of worldwide GDP, and while in some cases an increase in the healthcare to GDP ratio means better care for people, in other cases it may  lead to a decrease in the population’s living standards. There are political, business, and legal issues involved in the costs, but overtime I’m confident that technology can both improve care and lower the costs, in some instances dramatically, especially if open source designs become more common, and there’s some work in that respect with open source projects for prosthetics, opthalmoscope, and even surgical robots. Some commercial projects also aim(ed) to lower the costs of diagnosis tools such as Sia Lab’s medical lab dongle or Scanadu medical tricorder. The latter project sadly did not manage to pass FDA approval, and the company will stop supporting it on May 15, 2017, but that does not mean others have given up on developing a Star Trek like tricorder project, and Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE – which aims at diagnosing 13 disease states – selected two winners for the competition: Final Frontier Medical Devices and Dynamical Biomarkers Group.

Final Frontier Medical Devices DxtER Tricorder

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Final Frontier Medical Devices is a US based team of engineers and medical professionals that realized 90% of patients going to emergency services just wanted a diagnostics for their problem, and decided to work on a DxtER tricorder, which “includes a group of non-invasive sensors that are designed to collect data about vital signs, body chemistry and biological functions. This information is then synthesized in the device’s diagnostic engine to make a quick and accurate assessment”.

Final Frontier Mediacal Devices got $2.5 million for their achievements, not bad considering they worked part-time on the project. The video below explains a little more about the team, their work, and the problem they try to solve, but does not give much details about the actual product and different sensors used.

DxtER cannot identify all 13 conditions from the XPRIZE challenge, but their algorithms are said to be able to diagnose 34 health conditions including diabetes, atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, urinary tract infection, sleep apnea, leukocytosis, pertussis, stroke, tuberculosis, and pneumonia.

That aren’t much more details in DxtER’s product page for now.

Dynamical Biomarkers Group Tricorder

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Dynamical Biomarkers Group is a 39 persons team based in Taiwan, supported by HTC Research, and  led by Harvard Medical School Associate Professor Chung-Kang Peng. The team got the second prize, still a cool $1 million, for their tricorder prototype comprised of three modules:

  • Smart Vital-Sense Monitor – Temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and oxygen saturation.
  • Smart Blood-Urine-Breath Test Kit – Analyze fluids or breath dynamics to diagnose conditions such as urinary tract infection, diabetes, and COPD
  • Smart Scope Module – Bluetooth enabled magnifying camera to obtain high-resolution images of the skin and tympanic (ear) membrane. Used for diseases such as melanoma or otitis media.

These modules allow “physiologic signal analysis, image processing, biomarker detection”, and have been designed to be easy to use through a smartphone with an app that guide the patient through specific tests to generate a diagnosis.

The video below, again does not give much details about the product itself, but present the team, and explain the motivations such as controlling the cost of medical resources in Taiwan, and especially providing quality healthcare in rural areas of Greater China.

From the video, they seem to have greater resources for development than the US based team. Some more details about the tricoder can be found in the Center for Dynamical Biomarkers’ (DBIOM) XPRIZE page.

Via Liliputing