18 Jul GE Healthcare's technology monitors astronauts' space walks
Houston – As NASA works to get the Space Shuttle Discovery launched into space real-time health information of the astronauts will be monitored by NASA flight surgeons using GE Healthcare’s advanced heart monitoring and digital networking systems.
The health information will enable NASA to monitor and track the health of the astronauts during space walks and will enable the sharing also of information with experts located outside NASA’s mission control center in Houston.
The sharing of real-time clinical information will allow all clinicians within the NASA surgeon network, not just those at the control center, to remotely review and consult as needed on the astronauts’ health data.
“This particular application of our technology illustrates the value and potential of telemedicine for physicians … by enabling clinicians to access off-site databases, linking clinics or physicians’ offices to central hospitals, and transmitting diagnostic images for remote examination.” explained Omar Ishrak, president and CEO of Clinical Systems for GE Healthcare, in a press release.
Future applications for space travel would involve other countries’ space programs being able to utilize flight physicians throughout the world to continuously monitor astronauts’ health during space missions, as well as allowing more conventional medicine on Earth to be practiced remotely.
“We’re continuing our working relationship with NASA to identify potential medical devices and systems for future use on the International Space Station, and possible use on Lunar or Mars-based missions,” Ishrak also said.
As of Monday afternoon, Discovery’s launch was still on hold as NASA dealt with a fuel sensor issue. Failure of the sensor led to postponement of Discoverys’ first launch attempt. The next attempt will take place no earlier than late this week, NASA reported.