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(Pocket-lint) - Qualcomm has teamed up with the X Prize foundation to launch a competition to design a working Tricorder-like device, as found in the popular TV show Star Trek. This is looking to happen within the next 3.5 years.

"There is a dire need to improve access to healthcare globally and provide consumers with an opportunity to be active participants in their own health," Dr Diamandis, the CEO and Chairman of the XPrize said.

Created in 1995, the X Prize has been responsible for getting the private sector to push the boundaries of what is possible, with the lure of a big cash payout if successful.

The most famous X Prize to date was the challenge that asked private companies to send three people into space twice within 2 weeks, something that until that point had only been done by large governments.

qualcomm tricorder x prize looks for star trek health tech now image 2

Those looking to take up the new Tricorder challenge will have roughly 3.5 years to get place their entry. Diamandis told Pocket-lint that he expects around 100 teams to get involved before he and his colleagues whittle it down to just 10 teams for a final showdown.

The end solution must include users having the ability to diagnose themselves, and it has to be fun. The winning team will be awarded a $10m prize pot.

"Healthcare today certainly falls far short of the vision portrayed in Star Trek, by sponsoring the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize competition, the Qualcomm Foundation will stimulate the imagination of entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and doctors to create wireless health services and technologies that improve lives, increase consumer access to healthcare and drive efficiencies," said Dr Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm's Chairman. 

You can find out more information on the X Prize website

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 16 April 2013.