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Center Innovation Fund: KSC CIF

Electrical Impedance Tomography Technology (EITT)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The goal for the Electrical Impedance Tomography Technology (EITT) project is to develop a reliable portable, lightweight device providing two-dimensional tomographic imaging of the human body using impedance mapping. This technology could be developed to evaluate health risks and provide appropriate medical care on the International Space Station (ISS), during space travel and on the ground.

Electrical Impendance Tomography (EIT) utilizes a series of electrodes in a circumferential band-like device feeding these signals to a portable computer that generates images similar to a Computerized Tomography (CT) scan using a mathematical algorithm.The development and validatation of this new technoligy could provide reliable portable imaging of the head and chest cavity through the use of EIT. Impedance has been used to gain knowledge of cardiac function for several decades but not used as a scanning technique.  

Still early in development, Electrical Impedance Tomography Technology (EITT) is designed to provide images allowing doctors to monitor a patient's airflow or blood flow. While tools such as X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound are well known, they don't work well in a space environment due to radiation, user training, size and power usage considerations. These same limitations exist in remote locations on Earth.

The EITT device is a belt of electrodes worn around the portion of the body to be imaged. Once placed on a patient, it sends its observations to a computer, which then converts that signal to a still image or even a stream of live data. This information can be sent from space to the ground, or from remote locations anywhere in the world.

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