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Forbes Magazine: Peter Diamandis – Rocket Man

Peter Diamandis’ $10 million X Prize bounty sparked a boom in commercial space tourism. You won’t believe what he wants to do next.

It’s not easy to follow Grover from Sesame Street, especially when the throng of hungover Consumer Electronics Show attendees packed into the cavernous Palazzo Ballroom of the Venetian in Las Vegas endured product pitches from Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs and Nokia’s Stephen Elop even before the fuzzy ­purple Muppet’s demo of an augmented reality app for kids.

But this is Peter Diamandis, the fast-talking, hand-chopping impresario of the tech and space worlds. “The system is broken, access to health care is inconvenient, inefficient, bureaucratic—at worst, it’s even inaccurate,” he intones, striding on the stage in the standard tech mogul uniform—white shirt, blue jacket and jeans—as MRI-like images dance behind him on a gigantic screen. Stats roll off his tongue: an average 21-day wait for a doctor’s appointment; the 2-hour delay in the office; a coming shortage of 91,000 doctors. That’s just in America.

The crowd listens keenly, less for Diamandis’ subject matter—a deadly topic, even at an electronics show—or his matter-of-fact style than this track record and his cash. Diamandis is launching his latest payload: a $10 million X Prize, his seventh contest, to whoever develops the first medical tricorder—yes, that all-purpose handheld that was standard equipment among Star Trek medics. “The good news is we do have incredible technologies like wireless sensors, cloud computing, lab-on-a-chip technologies and digital imaging,” he says. “Our goal is to revolutionize health care, to provide it literally in the palm of your hand.”

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  • Connie Voll, MS, RD, LDN

    You are so correct about the medical world in the United States. I am interested in changing from the drug-based and treatment system of the doctors, physician assistants, nurses, psychiatrists, etc. to a MD Pathologist and Nutrition-Focused Paradigm so we can truly help children to be healthy. I have worked with pre-pregnancy, pregnant, post-partum, Head Start, Teens, Adults both normal and physically and mentally challenged. I need to help educate people to stay healthy with foods and the right habits as the
    $7 trillion unfunded drug program and the cost of medical care that represents 17 – 24% of the GNP for the budget is breaking the USA and causing costly deficits. It is ok to have some debt and pay it off over time, but this kind of debt and a lack of control of
    medical doctors charges makes it nearly impossible to solve the problem. I am anxious to read your book and saw you on
    MORNING JOE today. It was exciting to hear you were working on the real problems for the US budget. It is very difficult to
    be a whistleblower when you work with those who do not want the system to change. We also need to explain how things like
    scientific knowledge have changed since the days of the Bible and expose the misuse of “GOD” by the medical community and the religious community to explain what science has discovered. It was Madame Curry and Rosalind Franklin who gave us the ability to see inside the body and see the basic structure of DNA. Nutrition protects DNA and Malnutrition harms DNA. How can I apply for
    some of that $10 million? I also worked in the missile and space programs at LRAir Force Base, Michoud New Orleans for Boding and NASA, and at the Cape. Thank you again for telling the truth.
    NASA.

  • http://john@jsdykes.com John S. Dykes

    Today I read the WSJ review to my wife at breakfast. We were both fascinated! Tonight, I am working on ideas for my next Wall Street Journal illustration for the Matt Ridley column that will appear in this weekend’s edition – on this topic. Glad I got a head start!

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