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XPRIZE: New diagnostic devices could enable Personal Healthcare within the next few years

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Waverunner, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    The current healthcare system is broken, patients get managed by their doctors but do not receive the individualized treatment which often would be necessary to reach good results. In addition to this, costs are spiraling out of control.

    Patient empowerment is an important step into the right direction. Qualcomm is offering 10 million USD as part of the XPRIZE, where innovative teams from universities/companies around the globe offer powerful diagnostic tools, working from the palm of your hand. One device for example tries to run several hundred tests on one drop of blood. This would put a lot of power into the hands of the patient.

    Here is an overview:

    http://www.qualcommtricorderxprize.org/competition-details/overview

    Here are the teams:

    http://www.qualcommtricorderxprize.org/teams

    And here are some of the devices:

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-03/star-treks-tricorders-are-almost-here-5-devices
    PennyIA, MeSci, rosie26 and 2 others like this.
  2. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I'd like one of these, please:

    If I win the lottery tonight I may well get one!

    But I'd love to know exactly what tests it does. I couldn't find this out - can anyone? It may be in a patent somewhere.
    Waverunner and Valentijn like this.
  3. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I've been thinking more about this and it seems to me that a device like this (if reliable) could have enormous potential for us as a research tool.

    Brainstorming thoughts:
    • One could be bought for, say, each country and used by one person at a time, who could report their results (under various conditions and alongside info about age, gender, duration and severity of illness, time of day, whether resting or post-exertion, diet, meds, supplements, etc.) to a central point where the data could be analysed.
    • It would enable severely-affected people to participate in research.
    • It could enable us to correlate biomarkers, thus allowing easier-to-measure/more-or-less variable ones to be used in future research, some perhaps used as proxies for others.
    • Old research could be re-examined in the light of such new knowledge.
    • The records obtained could of course be anonymised by a trusted person or organisation.
    • Even if this research were not properly controlled or definitive, it could provide invaluable pointers for formal research.

    Any other thoughts?
    PennyIA, Waverunner and ggingues like this.
  4. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Like the part about "enabling the severely-affected to participate in research" and the mention of supplements, I take a lot of those, and a few medications, wonder if that is why I am not severely affected as others?

    GG
    Valentijn likes this.
  5. JT1024

    JT1024 Senior Member

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    Waverunner likes this.
  6. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    My 2 Cents. JT already pointed to Theranos, a company which uses one drop analysis and offers hundreds of results. The difference between Theranos and these new devices is, that the new devices hopefully allow hundreds of results for a reasonable price at home.

    The current standard healthcare system doesn't work, it is highly expensive and often not very effective. Theranos is a lot cheaper (see prices here http://www.theranos.com/test-menu?ref=our_solution) but I guess patients would prefer to get results at home at their convenience.

    Problems I see:

    1) What are we looking for? If we knew one CFS value, we could already check for it but there is none to my knowledge. CFS patients need to be stratified first.

    2) If we don't know what we should look for we will have to run hundreds of tests with hundreds of results and therefore we need a new device. We can already try this approach with Theranos but this will still cost quite some money.

    3) We even may find some interesting values if we look hard and long enough but this doesn't equal treatment. We still lack effective drugs for many diseases, we can't even treat a standard cold or flu.

    4) In my opinion, the causes for CFS are more likely to be found in our genomes, microbiomes and proteomes. These fields are not covered by these devices.


    Chances I see:

    1) Massive parallel patient analysis. We could check for hundreds of values every day. This could lead us to some underlying problem.

    2) Each patient could check for his current health status. Liver and kidney values are great indicators if something is wrong. In addition to this we have hundreds of other values which could potentially help us to determine toxicity or treatment effects.

    3) These devices could be the beginning of some great open access patient research, which then leads to some patient oriented personal healthcare including treatments.
  7. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I can't take many supplements or meds. They make me feel toxic or cause other side effects.

    I vaguely remember a cfs researcher joking about his patients being so sensitive to these that they would probably be effected by waving a med under their noses. "CFS" humor ... lol.

    As for the severely affected being able to participate, many of us can barely keep up with the bare necessities on a good day and feel overwhelmed as it is. Add PEM and we're useless. Lol. And I'm not as bad off as some.

    Tc .. x
  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I see some of your listed 'problems' actually as opportunities and challenges. I think we already have plenty of ideas as to what to test for, e.g. cytokines, pathogens, lactate, pH, nutrients, antibodies, bacterial endotoxins, moulds, fatty acid composition. These could be decided using the research articles in PR and associated papers.

    The results could actually help us to identify sub-groups/stratify patients.

    Re genome, proteome, etc., again, these could be analysed, correlated with the other results, and used to identify sub-groups and help researchers to know which aspects of the illness are relevant to which patients. Pretty-well all illnesses are due to a combination of genes and environment.

    I'm personally not that interested in taking drugs. I think they are overrated, and natural treatments underrated.

    You mention the microbiome, which is of course an area of increasing interest in relation to a variety of illnesses, not least ME. The best solution for gut dysbiosis is not drugs in my view, but natural interventions such as diet. Diet appears to be the main determinant of the make-up of the microbiome of a species, and changing diet dramatically changes the microbiome.

    It may well often be drugs that caused the dysbiosis in the first place.

    So we would ideally have a device for analysing poo too! :D

    I think that the Theranos pages mentioned testing this. I know that faecal contents do not 100% tell us what is in various parts of the gut, but they do provide some useful data.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  9. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    And even more so? If we had the device we could CONTINUE to test as we learn more from each other, or as we try various treatments. And test regularly, not once a quarter, but weekly. Just think of the knowledge that could be pooled together.
    Waverunner likes this.
  10. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Do you mean as individuals or as a group? I didn't check out the Theranos price, but the other-mentioned one is in the $thousands, and I can't see the NHS/insurers funding it! That's why I suggested buying one on a national basis and lending it out. Maybe each volunteer could have it for a week? Those who couldn't do the tests themselves could have someone come round to do it - a private nurse? Maybe even a lay volunteer?

    If there were enough people prepared to donate/take part, we could perhaps have one per hundred patients, or per thousand patients. Obviously it would be nice to have more...

    I love the idea of us actually DOING the research rather than just donating to someone else's research. It suits my independent spirit (and my frustration at not being able to use my qualifications elsewhere to earn a proper living due to this $£%&* illness)!
    xchocoholic, Waverunner and ggingues like this.
  11. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    Well, of course, my preference is that they figure out a way to reduce the size and cost. If it dropped down to a few hundred dollars, we could have a 'regional' lending system. Assuming of course we could get it that low.
  12. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    I fully agree. These devices could be a huge boost for the CFS community. There are some very bright heads on this and other boards and as soon as doctors have access to better diagnostic tools, I hope they can/will use it as well. A lot of new information and data will be generated.

    We probably can run tests not every months or every week but every day or even hourly. The big advantages of this fast-paced testing is, that rapid changes of blood values (which is nothing unusual) will be traceable.

    "I love the idea of us actually DOING the research rather than just donating to someone else's research."

    Self motivation is the strongest force of human behavior and also my biggest hope towards solving the CFS mystery.
    xchocoholic likes this.
  13. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I like the idea of sharing it. Maybe the volunteer could take data from the sickest too. Sorry if I sound whiny. I'm in a bit of a crash here. But still excited about the possibilities of this. Tc .. x
    Waverunner likes this.

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