Feature | November 22, 2011| Dave Fornell

Echoes From Space

Ultrasound offers most practical imaging system on International Space Station, used for astronaut cardiac evaluations

The modified GE Healthcare Vivid q ultrasound system being used during the mission.

The modified GE Healthcare Vivid q ultrasound system being used during the mission.

When the final space shuttle mission launched July 8, 2011, a cardiovascular ultrasound (echocardiography) system was included in its payload, destined for the International Space Station (ISS). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected GE Healthcare’s Vivid q echo system following a rigorous regimen of spaceflight hardware qualification and acceptance testing. The system, dubbed Ultrasound 2, was modified for spaceflight and had a custom-built external video/power converter assembly added.


On Aug. 23, ISS crewmembers successfully completed the first use of the system in an integrated cardiovascular experiment, which included an exercise echo scanning session. This was the first use of the Ultrasound 2 hardware on-orbit and allowed the experiment to resume ultrasound scanning after an eight-month gap. The data from the experiment is downloaded to the ground, in what is probably the longest-distance telecardiology program so far created.


The Vivid q is designed for cardiovascular imaging and enables assessment of left ventricular function and cardiac performance. The panoramic scan feature is a capability NASA has not had available in space before. NASA plans to use the equipment to replace and upgrade a 10-year-old ultrasound unit that stopped operating earlier this year in its Human Research Facility. The new device will be used for general crew health assessment and in space research investigations such as integrated cardiovascular, which looks at the weakening of heart muscles associated with long-duration spaceflight, and the Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study (Sprint) evaluation of the use of high-intensity, low-volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone and cardiovascular function in astronauts.


A European Space Agency experiment called vascular echography will use the device to help evaluate changes in central and peripheral blood vessel wall properties (thickness and compliance) and cross-sectional areas of station astronauts during and after long-term exposure to microgravity. Vivid q may also be used in NASA’s New Millennium Observatory Network (NeMO Net) extreme mission operation, providing underwater space simulation. NeMO Net is a near-real-time data communications system that links instruments located in a submarine volcano, one mile underwater and 300 miles offshore from Oregon, to the Internet.

Related Content

GE Healthcare, Vivid iq portable cardiovascular ultrasound, RSNA 2016, launch
Technology | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| September 22, 2016
September 22, 2016 — GE Healthcare announced the global commercial launch of its new generation of high-end portable
Transesophageal Echo, TEE. Interventional echocardiography, interventional echo, Philips, CX50

Transesophageal echo (TEE) has become an essential part of the new transcatheter structrual heart therapies, giving rise to a new sub-speciality of interventional echocardiography.  

Feature | Cath Lab Navigation Aids| September 21, 2016 | Dave Fornell
The rapid growth of transcatheter structural heart procedures and the need for increased use of echocardiography as a
Toshiba, Aplio 500 Platinum ultrasound, International Contrast Ultrasound Society, ICUS, live case, contrast-enhanced ultrasound
News | Ultrasound Imaging| September 07, 2016
September 7, 2016 — Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc.
best ultrasound technician schools, 2016 ranking, College Choice
News | Ultrasound Imaging| August 22, 2016
August 22, 2016 — College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources, has published
Absorb, bioresorbable stent, FDA approval, FDA approves, FDA clears, most popular content, most popular stories, DAIC

The FDA clearance of the first bioresorbable stent, the Abbott Absorb, the first week of July has been the most popular story so far for all of 2016. It is the first fully dissolving stent approved for the U.S. market and many experts say this technology could be a paradigm shift in coronary and peripheral therapies in the coming years as the technology improves. 

Feature | August 05, 2016 | Dave Fornell
 
mitral valve surgery outcomes, twisting of the heart, echocardiography, NICSMR, JACC Basic to Translational Science
News | Heart Valve Technology| July 20, 2016
A novel study has found a simple pre-operative echocardiographic measurement of the amount of torsion of the heart...
ASE, SCCT, SCMR, guideline, multimodality imaging, transposition of the great arteries, TGA
News | Congenital Heart| July 20, 2016
At the end of June, experts from three different medical societies released a new guideline to help optimize lifetime...
ContextVision, US PLUSView ultrasound enhancement software, iOS
Technology | Ultrasound Imaging| July 11, 2016
ContextVision has signed a contract to bring its US PLUSView ultrasound image enhancement software to hand-held iOS-...
Csound, GE ultrasound, cSound, Mitral valve, cardiac ultrasound

An example of improved cardiac ultrasound image processing using the GE cSound technology, which can create CT-like quality 3-D renderings of the anatomy.

Feature | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| July 11, 2016 | Jon Brubaker, MBA, RCVT and Sabrina Newell MS, RCS
There were several overall key trends evident at the 2016 meeting of the American Society of Echocardiography in June
ASE 2016, echo, echocardiography, cardiac ultrasound, annual meeting, ASE.16, American Society of Echocardiography
Feature | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| July 01, 2016
Below is a round up of news and videos about new cardiac ultrasound technology discussed in sessions and on the expo
Overlay Init