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Space research gives birth to new ultrasound tools for health care in orbit, on Earth
Date:6/23/2011

images to send to the Mission Control Center for analysis. The ADUM research was split into two projects: NSBRI funded the ground portion of the research, while NASA supported the flight portion.

The researchers conducted 80 hours of ultrasound examinations on the ISS and then sifted through approximately 20,000 images and many hours of video collected during ISS Expeditions 8 through 12 to create the "space-normal" atlas. The researchers developed the intuitive ultrasound guide to give astronauts broader use of ultrasound in additional organ systems and medical problems that were not part of the ISS experiment. Dulchavsky said, "ADUM initially utilized telemedicine and tele-ultrasound operations in which the astronauts were interacting with researchers and flight controllers on the ground during the examinations. The ultrasound intuitive guide allows astronauts to conduct exams when quick communication with an expert is not available due to distance from Earth or other reasons."

One of the first to be trained and to conduct an ultrasound exam in space was former NASA Astronaut and ISS Expedition 10 Commander Dr. Leroy Chiao. "We demonstrated on the International Space Station that even non-physicians can produce diagnostic-quality ultrasound images using remote guidance," said Chiao who is chairman of the NSBRI User Panel and a member of Baylor College of Medicine's Center for Space Medicine. "These ultrasound exam techniques and atlas will be increasingly important as we venture farther and longer into space. Telemedicine using ultrasound will be an invaluable medical diagnostic tool."

The level of skill needed to accurately analyze ultrasound exam results will vary based on the exam's goal. "To diagnose a broken bone is relatively straight-forward. When we were trialing this at my hospital, we trained the custodial personnel to conduct exams. After about five minutes, they had a diagnostic accuracy in the high 90s," Dulchavsky said. "Al
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Contact: Brad Thomas
rbthomas@bcm.edu
713-798-7595
National Space Biomedical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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