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GE healthcare's clinical enable NASA surgeons to monitor astronauts' health real-time during space walk

AZDEL : 05 February, 2006  (Company News)
NASA flight surgeons will use GE Healthcare's advanced heart monitoring and digital networking systems to monitor astronauts' health information real-time during space walks, which will take place throughout the Space Shuttle Discovery mission launching on July 13, 2005.
The health information obtained by NASA flight surgeons via GE's information systems will enable them to monitor and track the health of the astronauts during space walks, and to share the information with discipline experts potentially located outside NASA's mission control center. The sharing of real-time clinical information is important, as it will allow all clinicians within the NASA surgeon network to remotely review and consult, as needed on the astronauts' health data.

'This particular application of our technology illustrates the value and potential of telemedicine for physicians. Using GE's state-of-the-art patient monitoring software, physicians will be able to effectively read, monitor, and analyze patient information from many miles away,' said Omar Ishrak, president and CEO of Clinical Systems for GE Healthcare. 'Here on earth, our clinical monitoring technologies are already enhancing health and patient care by enabling clinicians to access off-site databases, linking clinics or physicians' offices to central hospitals, and transmitting diagnostic images for remote examination.'

During space walks on the Discovery mission, astronauts' cardiac information will be transmitted real-time to MCC, where it will be monitored, analyzed, and transmitted using GE's digital communications network, which will allow a report of the astronauts' cardiac performance to be generated and delivered to NASA flight surgeons. NASA flight surgeons will then assess and benchmark the function of astronauts' hearts during each space walk. The data also will be included in the astronauts' official electronic medical records, or EMRs.

GE's clinical monitoring technologies have been used during recent NASA missions. In addition, GE's clinical monitoring technologies have been used by NASA to simulate potential medical situations in space more accurately, allowing flight surgeons to better prepare for dealing with medical emergencies in space.

In the future, approved flight physicians throughout the world, across all time zones, will be able to monitor their own country's astronauts' health continuously during space missions using GE's technology.

'We're continuing our working relationship with NASA to identify potential medical devices and systems for future use on the International Space Station, and possible use on Lunar or Mars-based missions,' said Ishrak.
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