Press Release

GE Medical Systems Provides NASA Important Heart Monitoring Systems for Space Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
March 1, 2002
Filed under , ,

Advances Use of Telemedicine

For the
first time in the history of the U.S. Space Program, the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be using commercially
available heart monitoring and information systems for the important
task of monitoring the health of astronauts while they work outside
their spacecraft.

Heart monitoring systems developed by GE Medical Systems
Information Technologies, a unit of General Electric Company, will be used during the fourth Hubble Space Telescope Servicing
Mission. The mission was launched early this morning when the Space
Shuttle Columbia lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

During their space walks to work on the Hubble Space Telescope,
astronauts’ cardiac information will be transmitted in real-time to
Mission Control at the NASA Johnson Space Center where it will be
monitored using the GE CIC Pro(TM) Clinical Information Center and the
Apex Pro(TM) Telemetry System. After each space walk, the cardiac data
will be further analyzed and archived using the MARS® Unity

The GE systems being used by NASA are now being used by healthcare
professionals in the U.S. and worldwide. “This technology illustrates
the value and capability of telemedicine–the ability to e¸4Ktively
read, monitor and analyze a patient’s heart condition from miles
away,” said Joseph Hogan, president and CEO of GE Medical Systems.
“The concept of telemedicine works for the sophisticated care and
monitoring of astronauts as well as for heart patients in our local
communities,” said Hogan.

Prior to this mission, NASA developed and used its own proprietary
systems. Instead of recreating advanced heart monitoring systems, NASA
decided to reach out to the private sector and select systems best
suited for their needs. By doing so, NASA is effectively taking
advantage of the state of the art in healthcare while at the same time
exploring applications of this technology in ways that may benefit
everyday medical practices here on Earth. The result is a more cost
effective solution for NASA and an opportunity for GE to benefit from
NASA’s expertise.

With technical support from GE Medical Systems, Wyle Laboratories,
Life Sciences Systems and Services, a prime support contractor at NASA
Johnson Space Center, performed integration of the GE medical systems
with NASA’s communication and mission control infrastructure, and will
operate the systems during this mission.

Looking to the future, the goal is to integrate all cardiac data
from astronauts to continue to better understand the impact of space
flight on the heart and other physiological functions.

“For the past 35 years, we’ve helped healthcare providers deliver
first-of-its-kind monitoring technology that elevates the quality of
patient care worldwide,” said Greg Lucier, president and CEO of GE
Medical Systems Information Technologies. “The Hubble mission marks
yet another `first’ for our technology, and we’re hopeful of its
positive impact on the space program and advancement for patient

According to Lucier, GE has helped healthcare providers create
more than 2 billion cardiac patient records to date. Recently GE
Medical Systems Information Technologies introduced the nation’s first
all digital heart hospital, expected to open year-end.

About GE Medical Systems Information Technologies

GE Medical Systems Information Technologies provides hospitals and
healthcare systems with advanced software and technologies to improve
their clinical performance. The expertise spans the areas of
cardiology, patient monitoring, image management, clinical
communications, and clinical information systems to enable a
real-time, integrated electronic medical record. GE Medical Systems
Information Technologies is a business of GE Medical Systems, an $8
billion global leader in medical imaging and technology. Additional
information about GE Medical Systems can be found at

SpaceRef staff editor.