What if you didn't have to go to the doctor for lab tests to check on your thyroid, find out if you're anemic or test for HIV? What if your smartphone could do it all for you? That day is closer than you think.

Almost from the beginnings of Star Trek, there was the tricorder, a tool to diagnose the crew's health instantly on the spot.

Now, a smart phone is about to take medical testing down that same path.

Inventor Dr. Joel Ehrenkranz draws a small amount of blood from Brittnie, an expectant mother. She's not in a clinic or in a lab, but outside a small park. He places the blood sampler in a holder, then inserts the holder in a reader attached to a smartphone.

A minute later, she gets the results of her blood hemoglobin. Within 15 minutes, she knows her thyroid levels.

And unlike traditional instant tests, the i-calQ app, as it's called, interprets the results.

While not quite Star Trek, the journey is underway.

Cost may be the best feature - about a dollar for the anemia test, under $10 for the thyroid screen, potentially saving patients hundreds of dollars in lab fees.

There's no word when the technology will finally be available to the public.

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i-calQ app

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