Baylor College of Medicine

Ireland and the United Kingdom as seen from space.

TRISH selects healthcare and data management projects for spaceflights

Aaron Nieto


Houston, TX -

The Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine, with consortium partners Massachusetts Institute of Technology and California Institute of Technology, announced today two new projects with Ejenta and TrialX to develop systems to improve healthcare delivery and data management for spaceflight participants and researchers.
The projects are selections from TRISH’s HERMES solicitation, which sought proposals for development of a semi-autonomous platform to intake, manage and move biomedical data gathered for research and clinical purposes, and to enable a spaceflight participant, their medical providers and researchers access to the participant’s medical history and data throughout their journey. 

“The projects with Ejenta and TrialX exemplify TRISH’s commitment to identifying and empowering high-impact work to help humans thrive wherever they explore,” said James Hury, TRISH deputy director and chief innovation officer. “Ensuring that spaceflight participants, clinicians and researchers have access to crew medical data is fundamental to safe deep space exploration. Advancing these projects is a key step toward our goal of building a robust, scalable and autonomous medical system to support the health and well-being of space explorers.” 

Ejenta’s project adapts its successful existing Earth-bound platform to provide automated remote patient care for spaceflight. Each spaceflight participant will have his or her own AI agent and devices that collect, display and store their individual data, which will feed into a clinical dashboard to allow real time-monitoring by the in-flight crew medical officer, mission control and remote researchers on the ground. The platform enables the personnel to view individual and population level data and to receive alerts about changes to an astronaut’s health or to the vehicle environment. These services run on HERMES Edge Computers, specially designed computing devices that function without cloud connection, and automatically collect and analyze astronaut data. If a spaceflight participant joins a new space mission in the future, the HERMES Edge Computer on the previous flight can transfer data to networked HERMES Edge Computers located on other space vehicles to ensure continuity of care across missions.   

TrialX’s project, Expand Lite, aims to develop a software platform implemented using open standards on a portable device, to serve as a “to-go” version of the EXPAND master repository, developed by TrialX and currently housing data from commercial space missions for TRISH. The existing repository supports the collection of disparate data, whether it be surveys completed using an accompanying Expand mobile app, medical record summaries, data from wearables or portable ultrasound devices or even space capsule environmental data. The Expand Lite portable device will extend the repository, providing offline continuity and enabling spaceflight participants to both access their previously collected health information and store additional data during the mission itself. Upon return to Earth, the device will automatically sync the collected data with the EXPAND Master Repository. If a space flight participant embarks on another segment of their space journey, their Expand Lite device will carry over all their data from one mission segment to another, so that their existing health data will follow them. By addressing the challenges of data transfer and interoperability in space, Expand Lite aims to improve the efficiency and quality of care for astronauts. The TrialX platform also is being used to support clinical research here on earth, as an end-to-end solution powering hybrid and virtual global clinical studies. 

“Powerful health innovations designed for use in space often have applications for improving life on Earth, and both of these projects are clear examples of that,” said Jimmy Wu, TRISH senior biomedical engineer. “We are eager to advance these projects for the benefit of future space travelers and people on Earth.”

The projects will begin in November. Supported by the NASA Human Research Program, TRISH is an applied space health research catalyst that funds disruptive, high-impact scientific studies and technologies to equip astronauts for deep space exploration. Learn more about TRISH and its future funding opportunities by signing up for its monthly newsletter.

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