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 it is seeking proposals for developing a health and research data management platform for humans journeying into space.
On Earth, a person’s medical history and data often are not transferred seamlessly between medical organizations and healthcare providers, making it rare that a person is able to walk into a hospital and instantly grant the provider access to their medical history. Anticipating the same problem beyond Earth’s surface as private space exploration increases, TRISH’s solicitation seeks a way to address this issue for space.
The selected company or group will develop a robust, scalable, interoperable platform that can be used in different spaceflight vehicles that will enable usability and access to a spaceflight participant’s data by doctors on Earth, researchers and the individual themselves. This call for proposals will work in tandem with the TRISH EXPAND program.
“TRISH needs a health and research data management system that will follow and serve the astronaut patient at each stage of their journey,” said James Hury, TRISH’s deputy director and chief innovation officer. “On Earth, these systems are bound by billing processes. In space, we need an incredible amount of flexibility paired with immediate usability of all the health, research, and spaceflight environmental data collected during each mission.”
The vision for this platform is to allow medical information, biomedical research, environmental data, and mission-related data to be:
Ingestible: Aggregate and manage multiple data types and formats from multiple sources.
Accessible: Always available to spaceflight participants, medical personnel, researchers, and possibly artificial intelligence.
Persistent: Follow the spaceflight participant during their journey as they experience one or multiple spaceflight vehicles built and operated by different companies and governments.
The selected proposal will develop a predominantly software-based, semi-autonomous platform that intelligently intakes, manages and moves biomedical data gathered for research and clinical purposes and enables the data to follow the spaceflight participant to any spaceflight venues they visit, whether that be a spacecraft or any other future space destination. The ability for a spaceflight participant’s biomedical data to accompany them during their spaceflight journey is critical to the goal of an autonomous medical system of the future. This capability will allow continuity across a mission or missions to document how the astronauts adapt or maladapt to new and different extreme environments. Importantly, this data will contribute to the evidence base and be used to predict if there is an increase in the probability of an undesirable performance or health outcome throughout the mission that should be mitigated.
“TRISH’s goal with this solicitation is focused on a critical step in the development of a spaceflight vehicle-independent autonomous medical system,” said Dr. Jennifer Fogarty, TRISH’s chief scientific officer. “This step of identifying and testing a software-based capability that can receive, manage and disseminate biomedical information to various users — individual, clinical personnel, researchers — is fundamental to building the closed-loop system that will be necessary for deep space exploration. We need to find and test solutions now that help us build the biomedical evidence base and train artificial intelligence-enabled decision support tools while we are enabling systems focused on spaceflight crew autonomy.”
The solicitation is available online. Full proposals submitted through the TRISH Grant Research Integrated Dashboard (GRID) are due May 10, 2023. The pre-proposal webinar will be Thursday, April 13, at 1 p.m. CT via Zoom. Register for the pre-proposal webinar here.
The selected proposal is anticipated to be announced in July 2023.
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.