January 22, 2014 - Longueuil, Quebec - Canadian Space Agency
XPAntarctik, a crew of six experienced explorers, leaves Canada tomorrow on the first leg of an unprecedented 45-day expedition to Antarctica. During their expedition, the team will be testing Astroskin, a prototype "smart shirt" for space for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
Developed for the CSA by Carré Technologies of Montréal, Québec, Astroskin is a prototype medical monitoring system designed for astronauts that could, one day, become an important tool for patients here on Earth. The shirt is equipped with a series of non-invasive sensors that automatically record and process the wearer's vital signs, sleep quality and activity level. This data is relayed to medical teams on the ground to monitor a crew member's health, behaviour and performance during daily operations and exercise, or to assist in watching over sick or injured astronauts. Although the system was designed with astronauts in mind, its ability to manage the wearer's medical data from any location holds great promise for patients on Earth requiring close medical surveillance, especially those in remote communities, far from a doctor.
Like all space technologies, Astroskin must be tested extensively to understand its performance and how it can be improved for use in space. The CSA has teamed up with the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), which will test the prototype in its labs, in addition to the tests with XPAntarctik. Professors Jean P. Boucher and Alain Steve Comtois will assess Astroskin's accuracy, reliability of data, ease of use and comfort.
Rose-Aline LeBlanc, Press Relations Officer
Press Relations and Special Events Division, UQAM
Telephone: 514-987-3000, ext. 2248