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Center Innovation Fund: KSC CIF

Biomedical Monitoring by a Novel Noncontact Radio Frequency Technology (RFII)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The area of Space Health and Medicine is one of the NASA's Space Technology Grand Challenges. Space is an extreme environment which is not conducive to human life. The extraterrestrial environment can result in the deconditioning of various human physiological systems and thus require easy to use physiological monitoring technologies in order to better monitor space crews for appropriate health management and successful space missions and space operations.  Furthermore, the Space Technology Roadmap's Technology Area Breakdown Structure calls for improvements in research to support human health and performance (Technology Area 06). To address these needs, this project investigated a potential noncontact and noninvasive radio frequency-based technique of monitoring central hemodynamic function in human research subjects in response to orthostatic stress.     

This technology will be a quantum advance in cardiac monitoring and will be applicable in numerous situations such as for immediate assessment and monitoring of patients in life-threatening emergencies, during environmental stressors, and in performance of hazardous occupational tasks. Because the RFII data can be monitored from a central location, multiple devices could be used to monitor several patients simultaneously, such as in a car accident with multiple injured victims. For NASA these benefits will apply to both flight and ground personnel. For the military this device can be used during actual combat to alert medical personnel when a service member is wounded and to monitor his/her condition even before help is provided thus lowering medical evaluation times. This can also be used to aid medical personnel allowing them to prioritize triage and evacuation in multiple casualty contingencies.  The goal for this project is to design, develop and advance technology for a near-instantaneous, non-invasive radio frequency-based method for measuring heart and lung function without invasive probes, cuffs, electrodes and without patient contact.

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