A clinical decision support system for Earth-based medical operations

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Current paradigm for health care of astronauts in space. At the NASA International Space Station (ISS) Mission Control Center (MCC) in Houston, TX, the Flight Surgeon (FS) has a dedicated console position named SURGEON. To his left sits the biomedical engineer (BME) air traffic controller. A second medic is often present at the console during safety critical operations. Evidence. JSC2012-E054285 (25 May 2012), photo credit: NASA. b The FS is supported by a large number of personnel designated to provide back-up depending on the medical issue. These support personnel include physicians (with an array of subspecialties), nurses, and engineers (responsible for addressing life support skills). The FS communicates directly with the Group Medical Officer (CMO) on the ISS. debt: npj microgravity (2023) DOI: 10.1038/s41526-023-00284-1

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Current paradigm for health care of astronauts in space. At the NASA International Space Station (ISS) Mission Control Center (MCC) in Houston, TX, the Flight Surgeon (FS) has a dedicated console position named SURGEON. To his left sits the biomedical engineer (BME) air traffic controller. A second medic is often present at the console during safety critical operations. Evidence. JSC2012-E054285 (25 May 2012), photo credit: NASA. b The FS is supported by a large number of personnel designated to provide back-up depending on the medical issue. These support personnel include physicians (with an array of subspecialties), nurses, and engineers (responsible for addressing life support skills). The FS communicates directly with the Group Medical Officer (CMO) on the ISS. debt: npj microgravity (2023) DOI: 10.1038/s41526-023-00284-1

Deep space exploration requires a paradigm shift in astronaut medical support to Earth-independent medical operations. Currently, astronauts rely on real-time communications with ground-based medical providers. However, as distance from Earth increases, communication delays and disruptions occur. Deep space exploration teams should automatically detect, diagnose, treat, and prevent medical conditions.

One potential solution is to increase the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the long-term study team through a digital clinical decision support system, or CDSS. The Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) element of NASA's Human Research Program is investigating the potential and value of advanced capabilities to develop and improve EIMO.

The ExMC research team has developed the CDSS concept, where clinical data is continuously collected through passive and active surveillance, providing real-time guidance. This helps improve patient outcomes and reduces healthcare workload. It's work Published In the journal npj microgravity.

ExMC's CTSS assistive technology significantly improves a team's clinical efficiency. Private applications for this approach are currently being considered by commercial spaceflight programs, making ARC a perfect example of how space biology research can benefit the entire space industry.

More information:
Brian K. Russell et al., Value of a spaceflight medical decision support system for Earth-independent medical operations, npj microgravity (2023) DOI: 10.1038/s41526-023-00284-1

Press Information:
npj microgravity


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