Press Release

ibex Healthdata Systems Receives NASA Grant to Research Hands Free Medical Assistance Software for Use by Non Physician Providers in Space

By SpaceRef Editor
January 13, 2003
Filed under , ,

ibex Healthdata Systems, Inc., of Rosemont, IL, has received
a Phase One contract award from the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration for NASA’s 2002 Small Business
Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. The grant will allow
ibex Healthdata Systems and Johns Hopkins University to
research the feasibility of developing a portable, hands
free device for emergency medical decision-making support
to be used in space by non-physician providers.

According to ibex Healthdata Systems’ Chief Technical Officer
John Epler, “Phase One will entail the development of a
voice-activated device that will utilize an intelligent
algorithm to provide guidance in establishing an emergent
airway for a patient in space. The interactive hands free
software will process requests for assistance based on verbal
prompts and algorithmic decision-making.”

The device will allow the crew on the space shuttle to attend
to the patient while receiving verbal instruction, guidance
and graphic representations where it will be helpful in
performing procedures. “Phase One of the project will focus
on validation of the proposed technology as well as development
of the necessary software and hardware into a beta-type
device,” says Epler. “In Phase Two, Johns Hopkins University
and ibex Healthdata Systems will produce the first generation
software and hardware for hands-free, interactive medical
decision for use in any situation in which an algorithmic
guide would be useful.”

Nine NASA field centers reviewed Phase One proposals for
technical merit and feasibility and relevance to NASA research
and technology requirements. Once Phase One activities are
completed, ibex Healthdata Systems and Johns Hopkins University
will be eligible for the Phase Two award.

“At this time the only space injury emergencies have been
ones involving airways,” says Mark Crockett, MD, ibex Healthdata
Systems’ President and CEO. “Because of potential loss of
communication with Earth, space crews will be forced to
operate more independently and a mission to Mars will necessitate
a degree of autonomy never before achieved. The device will
allow laypersons to easily, reliably and quickly treat patients
using sound, validated algorithms…the mainstay of pre-hospital
care.” According to Epler, “This has enormous implications
beyond the space program and could provide laypersons with
a simple way to get important medical information in order
to treat injury and illness when access to trained medical
personnel is not available.”

About ibex Healthdata Systems, Inc.

ibex Healthdata Systems, Inc. was created in 1997 by emergency
medicine and healthcare information technology professionals.
Its browser-based ibex PulseCheck® software provides
a complete active and passive patient tracking system from
triage to disposition, with easy integration with other
hospital information systems; ibex PulseCheck® nurse
and physician documentation feature provides an electronic
medical record with instant access to charts and real time
risk assessment and information; the Risk Management module
provides real-time Risk Management and prompts physicians
through the documentation process. ibex Healthdata Systems,
Inc., is a Premier Business Partner with Philips Medical
Systems, a top provider of patient monitors in over 1,000
hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, and is an Approved Business
Partner with VHA, an organization with over 2,200 hospital
members. For further information contact ibex at (800) 331-9648
or visit the web site at

SpaceRef staff editor.