Medical TR-580s used were essentially similar in design to that of the standard TR-580, with the same available features and interface. The major difference was the addition of a deployable hand scanner. While some standard TR-580s also had removable scanners, the medical TR-580s were much more advanced and could provide detailed scans of an entire individual, or give focus to a single area. It was not necessary to use the scanner for the TR-580 to function. The scanner could be separated from the tricorder, either to feed data to another source or not be attached to the tricorder at all.

The medical sensor unit was also equipped with additional sensor ports. The TR-580 medical tricorder was capable of recording audio. This medical tricorder is apparently incapable of performing accurate scans on deceased people. This can be learned during the first year of Starfleet Medical Academy. The 24th century versions of the medical TR-580 were equipped with holographic imaging diodes. While the suite of sensors installed on medical TR-580s


TR-580 Medical Tricorder's portible scanner

was advanced, it was generally no substitute for the advanced and specialized equipment in a sickbay facility. Genetically-engineered microviruses were not generally detected by a standard medical TR-580 scan.

TR-580s could communicate with many Starfleet devices, including PADDs and starship library computers. They were also designed to work closely with the surgical support frames attached to biobeds. In conjunction with a neural pad, a medical TR-580 could be used to link the nervous system of a healthy individual to that of an injured individual in order to stabilize the injured for transport.