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Star Trek-like technology offers noninvasive monitor for patients and athletes
Date:4/29/2009

the system's development has occurred at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where Soller is a professor of anesthesiology. She has worked closely with researchers at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston to develop applications of the Venus system for space.

Former NASA astronaut and NSBRI User Panel Chairman Dr. Leroy Chiao said Soller's sensor system and other technologies being developed for spaceflight are a wise investment.

"The neat thing about the work being done is that it is a two-for-one deal," Chiao said. "Not only is this research going to help future astronaut crews and operations, it has very real benefits to people on the ground, especially to people in more rural areas."

On Earth, there are several areas of health care that could benefit from Venus. However, it is patients treated by emergency personnel on ambulances and on the battlefield that could benefit the most from the technology.

"Eventually, we expect first-responders would have these devices, which would provide feedback on the severity of a person's injury," Soller said. "Data can be communicated directly to the hospital. Early access to this type of information may increase a victim's chances of survival."

The system's Earth applications are not limited to urgent care. It will allow doctors to more efficiently monitor pediatric and intensive care patients. Athletes and physical therapy patients also stand to gain from the technology's ability to measure metabolic rate and to assist in determining the level of activity or exercise that is most beneficial to the individual.

"Athletes would benefit from using these parameters in developing training programs that will help them improve their endurance and performance," she said. "And we suspect the same thing will be true for patients in physical rehabilitation."

Currently, Soller and her collaborators are working on several aspects to prepare the sensor for integrat
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Contact: Brad Thomas
rbthomas@bcm.edu
713-798-7595
National Space Biomedical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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