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 Ultrasound, GE echo
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| November 24, 2015
November 24, 2015 — The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) announced today that it has launched the Echovatio
ContextVision, RSNA 2015, ultrasound image enhancement, 3-D/4-D

Liver ultrasound enhanced with US PlusView. Image courtesy of ContextVision.

Technology | Ultrasound Imaging| November 20, 2015
At this year’s scientific assembly and annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA),...
Philips, Lumify, smart device ultrasound, U.S. introduction

Image courtesy of Philips

Technology | Ultrasound Imaging| November 19, 2015
Philips announced that Lumify, a smart device ultrasound solution, is available for purchase by licensed healthcare...
Fujifilm Sonosite, iViz ultrasound, mobile visualization, FDA clearance

Image courtesy of Fujifilm

Technology | Ultrasound Imaging| November 19, 2015
Fujifilm SonoSite Inc. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for...
GE Healthcare, ultrasound, RSNA 2015, Logiq E9, Vivid, VScan, Voluson, Invenia, ABUS

Vivid E95 cardiovascular ultrasound system. Image courtesy of GE Healthcare.

News | Ultrasound Imaging| November 16, 2015
November 16, 2015 — At the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting, GE Healthcare will unvei
Lumason, CMS, ultrasound contrast agent, approval for reimbursement, Bracco
News | Contrast Media| October 21, 2015
Bracco Diagnostics Inc. announced that Lumason was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for...
ContextVision, ultrasound image processing, low latency, portable devices

Image courtesy of Philips

News | Ultrasound Imaging| September 25, 2015
At the 2015 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference (HPEC ‘15), ContextVision presented new results of...
SHAPE, task force, CT calcium scoring, carotid artery ultrasound, SHAPE Trial advisory meeting
News | CT Angiography (CTA)| September 24, 2015
SHAPE, The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication, met with an international contingent of leading...
Frost & Sullivan, top medical technologies, growth, healthcare

Corindus CorPath Vascular Robotic System image courtesy of Corindus Vascular Robotics.

Feature | Information Technology| September 22, 2015
Frost & Sullivan released its list of top medical technologies for 2015, featuring an array of sophisticated...
UTSW, Ben Lecomte, Benjamin Levine, Pacific Ocean, swimmer, remote guidance echocardiography

UTSW cardiologist Dr. Benjamin Levine, left, will use NASA-honed technology to monitor swimmer Ben Lecomte in his record-setting goal to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean. Image courtesy of UT Southwestern.

News | Remote Monitoring| September 21, 2015
University of Texas Southwestern cardiologist Benjamin Levine, M.D., will use NASA-honed technology to monitor swimmer...
Overlay Init