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How the XPrize Foundation Is Building Our Next-Gen Health Sensors

•, By Davey Alba

As the two tech giants invite a world of developers to create health apps and devices that dovetail with Apple iOS and Android gear, the XPrize Foundation—that not-for-profit champion of incentivized innovation—is running the Nokia Sensing XChallenge, using cash prizes to spark the development of new sensor technologies that address healthcare problems and help people generally monitor their well-being. This week, the organization selected eleven projects to vie for the grand prize, including a smartphone-based tool that aims to provide early diagnosis for diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in adults; a sensor that can help monitor patients with chronic heart failure; and a sensor that detects sleep apnea.

The winners are set to be determined this November at the Exponential Medicine conference in San Diego, California. The grand prize is $525,000, and five runners up will receive $120,000. It's part of a much larger movement that seeks to redefine healthcare through sensing technology. Some of these efforts are rather questionable, but XPrize is among those hoping to bring some legitimacy to the movement—and ultimately win FDA approval for these new types of devices.

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