Philly team wins $2.5 million grand prize at Qualcomm's medical device competition - Technical.ly Philly

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Apr. 13, 2017 12:05 pm

Philly team wins $2.5 million grand prize at Qualcomm’s medical device competition

Phil Charron, SVP for Consulting and Talent at Think Company, was part of the Philly-based team that took home the top prize.

Final Frontier Team takes the first prize.

(Courtesy photo)

A Paoli, Pa.-based team of seven working out of a living room just won the top prize at the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE global competition, beating out some big-league, top-dollar competition.

Team Final Frontier Medical Devices, led by Basil Leaf CEO Dr. Basil Harris, was announced as the winner amid cheers last night, following a four-year-long research process.

Put in context the team’s triumph is rather impressive. An initial cohort of over 300 teams from all over the world pitched their devices in 2013. During the following years, a selected crop of only 30 teams — some as large as forty people — got to work on their projects. For the final round of two teams, Final Frontier was faced up against a team of 39 researchers working with backing from Taiwanese consumer electronics company HTC.

Think Company’s Phil Charron was part of the team behind DxtER, the group’s proposed device, which is able to diagnose 34 health conditions using different data streams and an artificial intelligence engine.

“It has been a thrill and an honor to practice my craft with my Xprize team,” Charron told Technical.ly. “I met Basil and his siblings when I was 12 years old. They were makers before makers was a thing, and it paid off big time. Our winning advantage was using an evidence-based approach to engineering and design—something that assures success, but is practiced so rarely.”

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Regardless of the outcome of the competition, Think Company had been planning an event called Design and the Future of Healthcare: Learn from an IOT Inventor on April 17 to share the story of the development process and the lessons learned from making DxtER. Likely, the event will now get just got a lil more crowded, so you might want to RSVP now.

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Roberto Torres

Roberto Torres became Technical.ly Lead Philly Reporter in May 2016. Prior, he was a freelance contributor to Technical.ly and Al Dia News. The native Venezuelan moved to Philadelphia in 2015 after reporting on research at his alma mater, the University of Zulia. Whenever he's not fencing deadlines, he can be found standing in line at Overbrook Pizza in West Philly, running Netflix/Hulu marathons with his wife or reading news from Venezuela.

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