The UNOOSA (United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs) has invited Hexoskin's CEO Pierre-Alexandre Fournier to speak about medical research conducted aboard the International Space Station with Astroskin wearable sensors.
The webinar entitled "From Space to Earth: Innovations enabling accessibility on Earth" was live on Thursday November 9th, 2023, you watch a recording of the event here.
There are less than 700 astronauts who have visited space from the time Yuri Gagarin reached orbit for the first time in 1961 to now in 2023. Most of these astronauts were selected to have none or few health conditions.
With space more accessible than ever, we expect thousands of people to visit space in the coming decades on suborbital and orbital flights. Many of these new astronauts who will visit space to work or as travellers will have health conditions or disabilities.
Health research conducted in the space station today with Astroskin health sensors helps better understand the risks and mitigation strategies to make space more accessible. It also helps better understand the effects of aging on human performance: microgravity has effects on the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems analog to accelerated aging.
About the UNOOSA
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) works to promote international cooperation in the peaceful use and exploration of space, and in the utilisation of space science and technology for sustainable economic and social development. The Office assists any United Nations Member States to establish legal and regulatory frameworks to govern space activities and strengthens the capacity of developing countries to use space science technology and applications for development by helping to integrate space capabilities into national development programmes.
Kellie Gerardie, a U.S. Payload Specialist and Bioastronautics Researcher for the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS), will become this week the first astronaut to use the Astroskin wearable vital signs monitoring system on a suborbital flight.
This is an important milestone for the Astroskin research platform, because the wearable sensors will be worn for the first time during a whole mission: launch, adaptation to microgravity, and landing.
This will allow the IIAS to collect physiological data during critical stages of the spaceflight: from rest to 3g acceleration and then microgravity, an astronaut's body experience stress and needs to adapt to the constant changing environment while the Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity spaceship leaves New Mexico for space and comes back. These changes can be measured using Astroskin's wearable sensors.
The Galactic 05 research mission spaceflight is scheduled to launch on November 2nd 2023 from Spaceport America, 32 km southeast of the city of Trust or Consequences, New Mexico.
The Bio-Monitor Astroskin system is used aboard the International Space Station since 2019 to conduct medical research on the effects of spaceflight on human physiology. Four research projects are currently ongoing, mostly focusing on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Its deployment in space has been funded by the Canadian Space Agency and the system has been used by astronauts from CSA, NASA, ESA, JAXA, and the UAE Space Agency.
Over the years, Astroskin has become a standard for complex, continuous vital signs monitoring for space research. The system was awarded the 2022 International Space Station Research Innovation Award for Human Health in Space by the American Astronautical Society.
Kellie Gerardie has been training with the Astroskin to collect baseline data for over a year. The use of Astroskin before, during, and after the flight will be supported the IIAS payload integration team: Yvette Gonzalez, Dr Shawna Pandya, and Dr Aaron Persad.
Read more about Astroskin wearable sensors: https://hexoskin.com/astroskin
Read more about the Galactic 05 mission space research program here.
Since the late 19th century, modern research on human performance has led to the study of cognitive abilities, physiological, and psychological factors that influence human capabilities.
Although significant pioneering efforts have been made in the 20th century and in recent decades, there are still several unexplored research areas that could potentially enhance the resilience and health of military personnel and warfighters. Key areas include understanding the neuroscience of performance, human-technology interaction, performance in extreme environments, individual variability, collaborative performance, and ethical approaches to performance enhancement. Additionally, long-term skill development, cross-disciplinary research, non-traditional performance metrics, and performance in virtual environments hold untapped potential for transformative discoveries.
Top institutions such as the U.S. Navy Naval Research Center (USA), the Canadian Armed Forces, and the French Armed Forces Biomedical Research Institute (IRBA) (France), are at the forefront of state-of-the-art studies pertaining to human performance, readiness, stress, fatigue, and fitness. Leveraging the Hexoskin and Astroskin smart garments with embedded health sensors and an end-to-end platform providing continuous health status and high-resolution data, these organizations are paving the way for deeper understanding and advancements in the fields of human physiology and performance optimization. From assessing the endurance, physical fitness and resilience of warfighters to unraveling the mysteries of physiological responses, their efforts promise to reshape our comprehension of human potential, enhancing readiness, and fostering safer and more effective operational environments.
One of the organizations leading the charge includes the team at the U.S. Naval Health Research Center located in San Diego that aims to improve the health, well-being, and performance of the United States military personnel and veterans. Their research revolves around monitoring and enhancing Warfighter performance and operational readiness through the integration of physical and cognitive monitoring.
The team at Naval Health Research Center uses cutting-edge wearable biometric sensors, including Hexoskin and Astroskin devices, to measure vital signs such as ECG, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and breathing rate in real-time and other important stress, fatigue, cognitive, and performance markers with heart rate variability (HRV). In their facilities that include simulation labs, driving simulators, and virtual reality (VR) environments, they are validating the accuracy and effectiveness of Hexoskin and Astroskin by comparing them with gold standard measurements. Their goal is to integrate solutions like Hexoskin & Astroskin with custom virtual reality programs and other research tools for comprehensive data analysis. The data collected will help them perform stress levels assessments, fatigue, and overall performance, leading to personalized training plans and strategies for stress and fatigue management for deployment in real-world scenarios.
Source: Astroskin Webinar: Amy Silder, PhD. Biomonitoring in Warfighter Performance
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) studied the performance and reliability of the Hexoskin garment. A Canadian Forces Health Services Group reserve unit used the Hexoskin garment during a two-day military field exercise that included reconnaissance, reacting to enemy fire, and providing tactical field care to casualties.
The final exercise was conducted over two nights and three days in moderate weather conditions in British Columbia, Canada.
Hexoskin was found to be comfortable during various environmental and weather conditions while continuously collecting cardiac, respiratory, activity, and sleep data.
Another innovative project with Astroskin is led by the Agence Innovation Defense under the Ministère des Armées in France. The SPEEN project aims to monitor pilots during flights, measuring their real-time health parameters including blood oxygen levels with the Astroskin SpO2 pulse oximeter. The project aims to alert pilots of unnoticed situations and predict critical conditions using artificial intelligence. Conceived by Ship-of-the-line lieutenant Christophe and supported by Frigate Captain Gautier, both test pilots at the Centre d'expérimentations pratiques et de réception de l'aéronautique navale (CEPA). The research involving Astroskin has been conducted in partnership with the Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées (IRBA), the Département de Médecine Aéronautique Opérationnelle (DMAO), Hexoskin and Knopé, Hexoskin's Distributor in France.
Source: Agence Innovation Défense
Thanks to their efforts and for enhancing flight safety by understanding and predicting unexplained physiological events during flight through individual data and AI, the team received the Prix de l'audace award given by the Ministère des Armées in 2022.
By tracing new paths in human performance research and innovative technology applications, these efforts can support not only the resilience and well-being of active military personnel and warfighters but also provide better support and care to veterans, and beyond.
These groundbreaking studies and projects can also extend to the lives of veterans who transition to civilian life. As we refine our understanding of stress, fatigue, and resilience, the impact of the work accomplished can influence how we approach healthcare and well-being services to improve the quality of life of active personnel and our retired service members.
As we navigate unexplored frontiers, the journey extends beyond the laboratory and battlefield, shaping a future where the dedication of our armed forces is met with a reciprocal commitment to their lifelong health and success.
Contact Hexoskin today to discuss how the Hexoskin & Astroskin end-to-end platform can support your projects.
In the rapidly evolving landscape of health research, the integration of cutting-edge technologies has become paramount for advancing scientific exploration and discovery. The pursuit of innovative methodologies and tools to enhance the precision and scope of health research is a shared concern for academic institutions and researchers worldwide.
Each new research or discovery presents a set of constraints and challenges that researchers and students must go through to secure funding, navigate Institutional Review Boards and Ethics committees and recruit and retain participants, while balancing schedules and pressure to publish. Additionally, obtaining access to specialized equipment and generating high-quality data, sometimes across multiple facilities, can incur significant costs and time commitments. The need for accessible solutions that support researchers and students in their data collection, analysis and interpretation has emerged as a pivotal requirement for universities aspiring to position their institution as top research and innovation hubs on the national and global stage.
This is why leading research institutions including McGill University, Alma College, Salzburg University, TELUQ, The University of Arizona, and the University of Alberta, to name a few, have embraced cutting-edge technologies like Hexoskin and Astroskin as integral components of their laboratory equipment & research methodologies to conduct their projects thanks to their relative lower costs for collecting multiparameters high-resolution data and advanced study management and analytics tools.
An illustrative example of an academic institution's commitment to supporting its research community is the University of Arizona's SensorLab. Funded by the University of Arizona Strategic Plan, SensorLab is a Health Sciences initiative bringing students, faculty, industry and community partners together to pioneer human-centered sensor systems. The laboratory connects researchers across disciplines, within health sciences and beyond, to develop a range of health-oriented technologies and digital solutions, including AI, VR, and mobile apps. SensorLab is outfitted with gold-standard and state-of-the-art sensor systems like Hexoskin, environmental monitoring, 360 video and audio recording, XR, coupled with analytical tools and multimodal feedback capabilities to push forward the next generation of sensor-based investigation and discovery.
For students, SensorLab provides two key services: lending equipment and sensors for shared use, as well as dedicated research spaces configured for sensor-based projects. Students can engage at varying levels, from borrowing hardware to actively contributing to the design and development of sensor-driven research.
Over the years, Hexoskin has made it easier for research clients and developers to leverage fully the Hexoskin and Astroskin platform and collaborate on premises and remotely. Research groups such as the team behind the WE SENSE study at McGill University can answer research questions and hypothesis by leveraging the additional sensors provided with Astroskin or Hexoskin to determine the health parameters and metrics that are most relevant to answer their research questions and build their models. Given that Hexoskin and Astroskin offer processed and raw data in multiple formats suitable for advanced analysis, researchers are leveraging the online dashboard and API to extract the data to work on their models using machine learning and artificial intelligence methods.
Other research groups like at Salzburg University are going further in their experimentations by leveraging the SDK tools available to developers for Hexoskin and Astroskin to access the raw data in real time enabling them to build ground breaking apps while also leveraging the data collected in their research to publish scientific papers.
With a presence in over 50 countries and growing, Hexoskin & Astroskin have been adopted and shared across organizations and labs to conduct and deliver projects.
Contact Hexoskin today to discuss how the Hexoskin & Astroskin end-to-end platform can support your projects.
Sultan Al Neyadi is an Emirati astronaut and one of the first two astronauts from the United Arab Emirates, along with Hazza Al Mansouri. As part of Expedition 69, he's participating in the longest Arab space mission in history!
Sultan Al Neyadi was launched into orbit February 26th, 2023 aboard SpaceX's Crew-6 mission, which was also carrying Astroskin resupply payload. He's involved in hundreds of scientific activities including 19 major scientific experiments for the UAE.
One of these experiments involves measuring his vital signs in the ISS space environment using the Bio-Monitor Astroskin wearable sensors system.
What I'm wearing isn't just any shirt. The Bio-Monitor smart shirt & headband I have on tracks vital health stats such as heart rate, blood pressure & more offering insights into our body's response to microgravity. This technology can be a game-changer for remote healthcare.🩺🔬 pic.twitter.com/e6YHC975kK— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) May 31, 2023
The Astroskin Bio-Monitor system first reached the International Space Station in December 2018, and has been commissionned by Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques in January 2019. The wearable vital signs monitoring system has since been used by astronauts to participate in one of the many ongoing research projects on human physiology in microgravity using the platform.
Astroskin is also used by hundreds of researchers on Earth to push the boundaries of medical knowledge.
Here's a list of space launches that carried Astroskin payloads as of June 2023:
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded contracts to five teams to build prototypes of the Connected Care Medical Module (C²M²), a container-based concept for mobile medical clinics that can be rapidly deployed in remote, northern, or indigenous communities across Canada, in regions affected by natural disasters, and in future lunar and deep space missions.
Hexoskin (Carré Technologies Inc.) is proud to be part of the HARMONY team, led by CGI, one of the largest IT firms in the world, along with OKAKI Health Intelligence, PrecisionOS Technology, 12Volt: Games Studio, and Dr. Carolyn McGregor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
Health Beyond's vision is to enable agile, rapid prototyping and iterative operation of C²M²s on Earth, with the ultimate objective of operation in space. A C²M² is a scalable integrated system of state-of-the-art medical technologies and methodologies contained in a deployable unit. A shipping container will first be used for research and development purposes and for easy deployment across Canada via the existing intermodal freight transportation network. When preparing for space application and deployment in remote communities with collaborators, the medical module can be scaled down and adapted as needed.
One of the novel features of the C²M² is its core computer-based system that facilitates the incorporation, interconnection (i.e., flow of information), and usage of the latest medical technologies. This plug and play architecture will enable multiple configurations based on the end users' needs. These technologies increase the user's capacity to independently detect, diagnose, treat, and/or monitor health conditions on site. This improves the timeliness, quality, and continuity of care; refines clinical decision-making; and reduces the occurrence of risky and expensive medical transportation of patients from remote regions to urban hospital facilities.
(photo: Canadian Space Agency)
What if you could combat aging and discover the full potential of the human body? Global movie star Chris Hemsworth (“Extraction,” “Thor,” “The Avengers”) explores this revolutionary idea in the new National Geographic original series “Limitless with Chris Hemsworth” created by Darren Aronofsky and hailing from his production company Protozoa and Jane Root’s Nutopia.
New scientific research is shattering conventional wisdom about the human body and offers fascinating insights into how we can all unlock our body’s superpowers to fight illness, perform better and even reverse the aging process. This science is put to the test by Hemsworth, who, despite being in peak superhero condition, is on a personal mission to learn how to extend our health, strength and intellect further into our later years.
Undergoing a series of epic trials and extraordinary challenges in order to understand the limits of the human body, he’ll learn firsthand how we can live better for longer by discovering ways to regenerate damage, maximize strength, build resilience, supercharge memory, and confront mortality.
The Astroskin Vital Signs Monitoring Platform, an advanced wearable health monitoring system, is used in the first episode of the series titled Stress-Proof now streaming on Disney +.
Ever since his teenage years, stress has been part of Chris’ life, and he wants to learn how to deal with it better. In this episode of the series, Chris Hemsworth will learn powerful physical and psychological techniques that can be used to control the stress in our lives and combat the risk it poses to long-term health.
The actor takes on the challenge to stay calm during a terrifying walk along a crane that’s projecting out from the roof of a skyscraper. We follow him practicing his walk in VR. Chris is supported during his training by Dr. Modupe Akinola who interprets the actor's physiological response measured with the Astroskin.
During the episode, we also follow Chris Hemsworth wearing the Astroskin during the chilling walk on the crane at the top of a 900-foot-tall skyscraper.
Limitless with Chris Hemsworth is streaming on Disney+.
Join us for our new Astroskin LIVE Demo on September 21, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. EDT. Our team will perform a complete demo of the industry-leading Astroskin Vital Signs Monitoring Platform.
Our LIVE Demo events are good opportunities to meet the Hexoskin team and learn more about everything related to our solutions for remote health monitoring.
Whether you are new to Astroskin or need a refresh on the Astroskin platform, our Astroskin Live Demo will provide a deep look at the Astroskin features, including new functionalities.
Washington, D.C. - July 28th, 2022
The American Astronautical Society has awarded today the 2022 International Space Station Research Innovation Award for Human Health in Space to Hexoskin (Carré Technologies Inc.) for demonstrating a comprehensive physiology monitoring system for use in research and in situ crew care.
The Astroskin Bio-Monitor System was launched with SpaceX mission CRS-16 in December 2018 and was commissioned by Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques in January 2019. It is currently used in two clinical trials in microgravity to improve our understanding of cardiovascular health in space and physiological models of aging. These studies will help support human health during long-term space missions beyond Earth's orbit: to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
"This award celebrates 10 years of collaboration between Hexoskin and space agencies, and a technology that has a real impact on medical research in space and in our communities" said Pierre-Alexandre Fournier, CEO and co-founder of Hexoskin.
The Hexoskin space medicine team supports the operations of the Astroskin Bio-Monitor in space with the collaboration of the Canadian Space Agency, NASA, and other space agencies and subcontractors.
Astroskin is the most advanced ambulatory vital signs monitoring platform for medical research in the world. Developed to qualify for space research, it can now benefit the most innovative research in Space and on Earth.
Astroskin offers state-of-the-art continuous real-time monitoring for 48 hours of blood pressure, pulse oximetry, 3-lead ECG, respiration, skin temperature, and activity.
The Astroskin garments are now available in a wide range of sizes for men & women. A large number of research organizations already use the Astroskin vital signs monitoring platform to collect data to answer their research questions.
About the ISS R&D Conference
The International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) brings together leaders from the commercial sector, U.S. government agencies, and academic communities to foster innovation and discovery onboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The conference is hosted by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc., manager of the ISS National Laboratory; NASA; and the American Astronautical Society (AAS). ISSRDC showcases how the space station continues to provide a valuable platform for research and technology development that benefits humanity and enables a robust and sustainable market in low Earth orbit. Additionally, the ISSRDC marketplace expo allows companies to showcase how they are advancing opportunities in low Earth orbit and provides a venue to meet with researchers, stakeholders, and policymakers.
About the American Astronautical Society
The American Astronautical Society (AAS), established in 1899, is a major international organization of professional astronomers, astronomy educators, and amateur astronomers. Its membership of approximately 8,000 also includes physicists, geologists, engineers, and others whose interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising the astronautical sciences.
The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe as a diverse and inclusive astronautical community, which it achieves through publishing, meetings, science advocacy, education and outreach, and training and professional development.
Canadian Private Astronaut Mark Pathy and his crew members have been busy training at NASA Johnson Space Center ahead of the launch. The Axiom-1 mission was recently cleared by NASA and is set to blast off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in April. The mission is set to launch today on April 8, 2022.
You can watch the Launch Live here: https://youtu.be/5nLk_Vqp7nw
Ax-1 is the first mission involving an all-private crew of astronauts to reach the International Space Station. The mission will last 10 days with at least eight days are expected to be spent inside the ISS.
Mark Pathy, Axiom Space private Astronaut, will wear the Astroskin while staying on the ISS. He will conduct several research experiments including research on the effects of microgravity, chronic pain, and sleep disturbances. Mark will be joined on Ax-1 by fellow crew members Eytan Stibbe from Israel, Larry Connor, and Michael Lopez-Alegria from the United States.
A New Prospect for Astroskin and the Advancement of Space Research
Initially entirely funded by national space programs, space exploration is getting momentum with several private companies and individuals targeting Space as the next frontier. Hexoskin has collaborated with the Canadian Space Agency since 2012 on space projects, including the Astroskin (Bio Monitor).
Astroskin seamlessly integrates several sensors in one portable smart clothing to report continuously the vital signs remotely. Integrating a precise 3-lead ECG, and Body Inductance Plethysmography (RIP) sensors, Astroskin allows the ambulatory monitoring of the cardiac and lung function, previously only possible with bulky equipment previously available in laboratories. The Astroskin smart clothing also integrates a portable pulse oximeter for continuous blood oxygen and blood pressure monitoring, a skin temperature sensor, and a 3-axis activity sensor for activity and sleep monitoring.
The comfort and convenience of a smart textile explain why Astroskin is currently the health monitoring tool of choice for the ISS participating countries to conduct health research in microgravity and remotely monitor the vital signs of astronauts. More recently, we announced the upcoming mission of Astronaut Kellie Gerardi, set to conduct research with Astroskin on board a Virgin Galactic Flight. Since Astroskin is operational on board the ISS, it opens new opportunities for private astronauts and space companies to use Astroskin for their training and during spaceflight.
We are thrilled to see new missions such as the Ax-1 mission adding Astroskin to their toolkit to conduct meaningful research in Space and contribute like Mark Pathy to the advancement of science with important potential applications on earth and for future space exploration missions.