A Paradigm Shift from Telemedicine to Autonomous Human Health and Performance for Long-Duration Space Missions

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Alexandre Popov Wolfgang Fink Andrew Hess

Abstract

This paper discusses a Prognostics and Health Management [PHM]-based approach to implementing Human Health & Performance [HH&P] technologies. Targeted specifically are NASA’s “Autonomous Medical Decision” and “Integrated Biomedical Informatics” of “Human Health, Life Support, and Habitation Systems” in Technology Area 06 [TA 06] of NASA’s integrated technology roadmap [April 2012]. The proposed PHM-based implementation is to bridge PHM, an engineering discipline, to the HH&P technology domain to mitigate space travel risks by focusing on efforts to reduce countermeasure mass and volume, and drive down risks to an acceptable level. NASA’s Autonomous Medical Decision technology is based on wireless handheld devices and is a result of a necessary paradigm shift from telemedicine to HH&P autonomy. The Integrated Biomedical Informatics technology is based on Crew Electronic Health Records [CEHR], equipped with a predictive diagnostics capability developed for use by crew members rather than by healthcare professionals. This paper further explores the proposed PHM-based solutions for crew health maintenance in terms of predictive diagnostics to provide early and actionable real-time warnings to each crew member about health-related risks and impending health problems that otherwise might go undetected. The paper also discusses the paradigm’s hypothesis and its innovation methodology, as implemented with computed biomarkers. The suggested paradigm is to be validated on the International Space Station [ISS] to ensure that crew autonomy in terms of the inherent predictive capability and two-fault-tolerance of the methodology become the dominant design drivers in sustaining crew health and performance.

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Keywords

prognostics and health management (PHM), space medicine, human health and performance, prognostics, predictive analytics, predictive diagnostics

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Section
Technical Papers