Peter Jansen, Creator of Open Source Tricorder, Joins Scanadu Medical Tricorder Team

This has been in the works for a while, and so I’m excited to be able to finally publicly announce it. This week I’ll be joining Scanadu, a silicon-valley based startup working on the Medical Tricorder, and backed by world-class folks like Stephan Wolfram (Mathematica / Wolfram Alpha) and Nicholas Negroponte (founder of the MIT Media Lab and One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) association). Here’s the official press release from Scanadu:

Mountain View, CA, May 16, 2012 –(– Scanadu, the Silicon Valley based startup building the Medical Tricorder, today welcomes Peter Jansen, the one-man force behind the Open Source Science Tricorder. Jansen joins a brilliant 12-person team backed by the likes of Stephen Wolfram and Nicholas Negroponte.

Peter Jansen, PhD, recently made media waves when, on the heels of the Tricorder X PRIZE announcement, he released open source designs for two real-life Tricorders. Dubbed the “Mark 1” and “Mark 2,” these science Tricorders form the bedrock of Jansen’s Tricorder Project, an open hardware community adding to Jansen’s original design.

Jansen, a protean hacker – fluent in astro and optical physics, cognitive artificial intelligence, and medical imaging – is driven by the belief that free and inalienable access to healthcare is a basic human right. Growing up in Canada has given Jansen perspective on flaws in American medicine and political resistance to socialized care. The only solution, he sees, is to change the system from the bottom up, first by making expensive medical equipment cheap. The end goal? According to Jansen: “Medicine must become an information science.”

Jansen’s mission mirrors Scanadu’s own – to put the tools of a doctor’s office into the hands of the medical consumer, giving the individual access to the most deeply personal information possible – their health data.

About Scanadu
Scanadu is a health technology company that is building the Medical Tricorder, a device that enables consumers to manage their own health care. Consumers will have real-time monitoring of 6 vital signs in a single device. Sensor data combines seamlessly with user-device Q&A and personal health records (PHR), resulting in the most complete picture of health ever possible to-date. The Tricorder gives recommendations for medical care, when appropriate, and lets users schedule an appointment or speak with a medical professional immediately. Scanadu closed a $4 million Seed round of financing in 2012. For more information about the company, please visit

One of the most common questions I get (aside from “where can I purchase a Science Tricorder?”) is whether I’m working on a Medical Tricorder for the Qualcomm Tricorder X-PRIZE, and so I’m happy to finally be able to answer that question. On a personal note, I have to say that living at NASA Ames and working on developing a Medical Tricorder sounds like something from a dream (though replacing a Tricorder with a warp drive would make that spot on 😉 ). Scanadu is full of incredibly bright folks working on innovative technology, and I’m excited to be a part of the team. Their building on NASA Ames is also beside an ENORMOUS hanger for blimps, which is way too cool for a science nerd like me! 🙂

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