Astronauts will monitor their health using video game developer Level Ex’s ultrasound system

Level Exa medical video game company that offers software to remotely train surgeons, announced that it will participate in one of 38 science and research experiments accompanying SpaceX astronauts aboard Polaris Dawn, the first of three human spaceflights.

The Polaris Dawn and Dragon crew will travel to an altitude of 1,400 km, the highest Earth orbit ever flown, and attempt the first commercial spacewalk of its kind, which forces astronauts to experience relatively high levels of radiation and exposure to a harsh vacuum during a spacewalk.

The mission’s profile will allow analysis to assess the effects of spaceflight on the human body and provide the crew with tools to diagnose and treat themselves in the event of medical problems.

“In human spaceflight, crews must be prepared to deal with medical problems as they arise — a challenge for many reasons, including limited medical training and the fact that bodies function differently in microgravity,” Level Ex said. MobiHealthNews in email.

Level Ex is contributing to the Polaris Dawn research missions by providing a tool that will train astronauts to diagnose health problems using ultrasound, the only imaging modality available in space, and be able to do so en route and autonomously as needed.

Thanks to a grant from the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) and NASA’s Mars Mission, Level Ex created a realistic ultrasound simulator to capture astronauts’ digital twins before they go into space.

The model can be modified based on known physiological adaptations to microgravity over time. Astronauts can then do real-time training in space that recreates what that astronaut’s physiology should look like on ultrasound after an allotted period of time in space.

“In collaboration with SpaceX, TRISH and KBR, the company developed just-in-time training and in-flight procedures to help crews perform medical ultrasound procedures. During the 5-day orbit, the crew will monitor blood flow patterns and test the real-time training solutions coming from this mission, which aim to enable astronauts to better monitor their health and maximize their safety in space,” Level Ex said in the email.

The research projects aim to improve the health of humans on Earth and the health of astronauts for long-duration space flights in the future.

Polaris Dawn is scheduled to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no earlier than March 2023.

THE BIGGER EVOLUTION

Several research projects on human health in space are underway.

In October, four astronauts launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and headed to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of SpaceX’s 5th Commercial Crew mission.

The trip kicked off a six-month mission in space exploration that supported hundreds of research and technology development studies, including those aimed at creating protein-based artificial retinas and assessing how gut microbes change in space.

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