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Human Research Program

Distributed System for Spaceflight Biomedical Support

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Our project investigated whether a software platform could integrate as wide a variety of devices and data types as needed for spaceflight biomedical support. The SpaceMED v2.2 prototype system was successfully developed and consists of 3 separable software layers: 1. MEDcomm: listens for medical and environmental devices over multiple communication protocol standards, connects to the devices, collects and time-stamps data, and packages that data for robust communication to the MEDproxy layer. It supports USB mass storage, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Ethernet protocols, most any 802.15.4 radio bridge (e.g., devices using Zigbee or ANT+ protocols), and filesystem-accessible locations. Devices from 7 distinct manufacturers plus any device that makes data available in file format are supported. 2. MEDproxy: receives data from MEDcomm and routes it to the data archive and MEDview graphical displays. The data archive includes a table for telemetry data, a repository for file-based data, and a metadata store which provides pointers to the stored files and data channels. MEDproxy also hosts webservice and websocket data interfaces. 3. MEDview: runs inside a web browser for query and viewing of both real time and historical data from multiple medical sensors using nearly any computing platform (Windows, Linux, Mac, tablet, smart phones). The MEDproxy webservice uses a login page for security and customization. The search page enables selection of individual or multiple datasets for display, whether historical or real-time. Control of an external device can also be achieved via MEDview. These three modules can be co-located on the same computer (standalone configuration), or distributed across multiple computers or devices. A radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based system was also developed, for rapid association of devices with patients and/or locations. SpaceMED has demonstrated a throughput of over 20,000 samples per second for telemetry data, equivalent to 10 simultaneous 12-lead ECG systems running simultaneously at 250Hz. Long-duration benchmarking and physiology laboratory analog testing with human participants using 8 sensors over 4 hour experiments were also successfully conducted. Importantly, SpaceMED can be configured to automatically forward all acquired data to NASA's Exploration Medical System Demonstration (EMSD). User training of NASA EMSD developers was conducted to facilitate SpaceMED integration and utilization with EMSD. The delivered SpaceMED v2.2 prototype is thus capable of highly automated collection, management, and display of both telemetry and multimedia data in real-time or via the data archive. Our integration efforts enable all data collected by SpaceMED to be automatically transferred to NASA's EMSD databases. SpaceMED could serve as a smart operating system underlying biomedical and environmental devices, eventually to be integrated with guided-procedures, decision-support, and therapeutic systems. More »

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A final report document may be available for this project. If you would like to request it, please contact us.

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