29 May 2012

Press Release: Advancing safe space flight for everyone, Vital Space and Astronauts4Hire test innovative Biometric Monitoring Platform in Zero Gravity


May 29, 2012

Advancing safe space flight for everyone, Vital Space and Astronauts4Hire test innovative Biometric Monitoring Platform in Zero Gravity

Houston, Texas – Vital Space and Astronauts4Hire completed a 4-day flight research campaign consisting of 160 microgravity parabolas to validate ViSi Mobile, a cutting-edge FDA-approved vital sign monitoring system. Astronauts4Hire flight members Jason Reimuller and Brian Shiro provided operational expertise and served as subjects in the study, which aims to leverage emerging innovations in mobile health technology for spaceflight applications.

"Commercial spaceflight participants present a variety of opportunities for new biomedical research," said the project Principal Investigator Dr. Ravi Komatireddy, a KL2 clinician scholar in wireless medicine at the Scripps Translational Science Institute trained in Internal Medicine. "This flight campaign lays the groundwork for future experiments that aim to create new risk models, establish training or certification standards, link with existing medical records, and complement existing medical research and evaluation in space using innovative sensor technology."

Paddy Barrett, Jason Reimuller, and Justin Buckingham operating the
ViSi Mobile in zero gravity. Image Credit: NASA
The team tested the innovative ViSi MobileTM System from Sotera Wireless, Inc. This platform leverages recent advances in wireless medical technology to monitor critical, physiological metrics such as blood pressure, arterial hemoglobin oxygen saturation, heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature, and multi-lead electrocardiogram.

The experiment involved a comprehensive hardware test to examine basic device functionality and usability. Test subjects performed a variety of activities to simulate normal and emergency medical use cases expected in the space environment. Vital Space partner MEDgle will use sophisticated analytics to analyze data.

"SpaceX's recent successful launch and docking with the International Space Station harkens to the approaching age of commercial spaceflight," remarked A4H President Brian Shiro. "We are excited to contribute to the Vital Space effort, which has the potential to increase health and safety for a wider demographic of space flyers and expand access to the space frontier."

"Sotera's mission is to keep people safe by detecting early signs of potential deterioration in virtually any setting," said Dr. Gunnar Trommer, VP Marketing for Sotera Wireless. "Since we are a high-technology company, why would that be limited to healthcare facilities or even the ground? If one wants to explore the limits of a product, it needs to be challenged under extreme conditions. If it works in zero-gravity, you know that it will work under normal conditions too."

NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program under the Space Technology Program funded the flight campaign, which was facilitated by NASA’s Reduced Gravity Office in Ellington Field, Texas.