HMP Research Station Telemedicine Report Provided by the Canadian Space Agency Canadian Astronaut Office (CAO), July 21, 2005

Status Report From: Haughton-Mars Project (HMP)
Posted: Thursday, July 21, 2005

CAO's Participation to HMP Research Station 2005 -- Objectives

This will be the first time that CAO participates in the Haughton-Mars Project since its inception in 1997. Although Dr. Gary Gray, a Canadian Space Agency (CSA) consultant from Defense R&D Canada, Toronto, participated in July 2000, his role was mainly the provision of medical care to the participants.

The CAO objectives in participating in HMP 2005 can be divided in 4 broad categories:

1. Identify training opportunities for Astronaut and support personnel
2. Identify technology demonstration and procedure test bed opportunities
3. Identify Education and Outreach opportunities.
4. To provide medical support to the HMP 2005 participants.

Canadian Astronaut Office Telemedicine
Dr. Jean-Marc Comtois (background) and Dr. John Ferris (foreground) participate in a telemedicine session.

These objectives will be achieved by observing, photo-documenting and actively participating in camp life and research activities, and by being available for medical support. Medical supplies, whether loaned to CSA or purchased by CSA, will be shipped to the Haughton Crater and available throughout the stay on Devon Island.

Since as part of its Planetary Exploration program, the CSA is developing a Canadian Analogue Research Network (CARN) that will enable Canadian and international scientists and engineers to carry out activities at analogue sites in Canada, it will come with the responsibility of ensuring the proper infrastructure is in place to support the researchers who will come to these sites. Since the analogue sites are remote extreme environments, proper medical support capability should be provided since medical evacuation, should it be required, is weather dependant and is by no means guaranteed in a timely fashion. In this spirit, some of the objectives for CAO's participation to HMP 2005 will be to:

a. Identify medical support requirements for analog sites
b. Test connectivity between Devon Island and North Network
c. Demonstrate the capability of telemedicine support from North Network for:
   i. Non time critical medical problem
   ii. Time critical medical emergencies

These objectives are very much in line with the testing of concepts, technologies and techniques to maximize human health, comfort, productivity, and survivability. Lessons learned in these analog environments will be applicable to the medical autonomy paradigm of exploration-class missions that is being developed under the Advanced Astronaut Medical Support (ADAMS) project.

A medical simulations will take place between Devon Island and North Network, that will include the use of medical peripherals for tele-consultation, the management of an acute abdominal pain including tele-mentoring in the use the use of ultrasound.

NASA Johnson Space Center and Wyle Labs have expressed an interest to continue work started in previous years on ultrasound.

Canadian Astronaut Office Telemedicine
Shown here is the Medtronic Debibrillator Lifepak 12, one of the instruments available to the doctors for the telemedicine project.

Proposed Telemedicine Activities

1. Testing quality of the telemedicine link with North Network
   a. Establish connectivity with North Network (alternatively with CSA)
   b. Transmit medical images using the ENT scope, Dermascope, Opthalmoscope and general examination camera

Challenge: cold and humid environment could adversely affect the equipment thus the quality of transmission and images

2. Training on Sonosite    a. Training and tele-mentoring on the use of the Sonosite US by Dr. Ashot Sargsyan or Dr. Doug Hamilton (Wyle Lab) from Houston, Texas

3. Diagnosis and management of acute abdominal pain (time critical emergency)
   a. Establish link with North Network consultant
   b. The use of ultrasound and telementoring to diagnose a case of acute abdominal pain

Note: to add complexity to the issue, this scenario could be repeated with the physician being incapacitated and thus requiring a non-physician managing the medical crisis.

4. ADUM project
   a. Performance of tasks as requested by Dr Sargsyan for the continuation of the ADUM project

// end //

More status reports and news releases or top stories.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.