Spaceflight presents many challenges and opportunities for understanding human physiology and for administering healthcare in a harsh, remote and resource-limited environment. Technologies and countermeasures developed for space must be portable, minimize invasiveness, and be easy to use and maintain. Medical devices must also be robust and preferably require low power and consumables. Solutions meeting these standards for spaceflight have potential commercial advantages over similar technologies developed only for Earth markets. Many technologies for space have Earth-based spin-offs. In medicine, recent advances from space enhancing terrestrial healthcare delivery include, but are not limited to, (1) new training methods, and advanced diagnostic and therapeutic applications for ultrasound, (2) near-infrared spectroscopy for portable brain imaging, and (3) non-invasive assessment of intracranial pressure. With the assistance of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), funding for biomedical innovation and applications for space includes a program aimed at small companies, with commercialization support competitively awarded to transition technologies from bench to market.
Keywords: Astronaut, biomedical, commercialization, exploration, health, healthcare, innovation, intracranial pressure, medical, microgravity, near-infrared spectrocopy, non-invasive, public private partnership, space, spaceflight, technology, ultrasound.