Web Vision Technologies has secured awarded two grants from Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine to develop vision-testing devices for National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA) to be used on the International Space Station (ISS).
These devices will allow NASA scientists to detect, monitor progression, and guide medical interventions for vision issues astronauts are experiencing on long-duration deep space missions.
Background information – For years now, scientists have known that the human body suffers in the microgravity environment of space. The term Spaceflight-Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS) has been adopted to describe the vision related issues that happen to astronauts on long-duration spaceflight.
NASA views the SANS issue as a significant problem and needs to be further studied/understood and a solution needs to be found before sending astronauts on deep space exploration missions.
Vision Technology Web Vision Technologies is developing – To help find solutions to these issues, NASA has asked Web Vision to develop two different specialized vision testing devices:
The first device (in its second phase of development) is a very compact, self-imaging retinal camera that will allow astronauts to take an image of their retina so doctors on the ground can look for signs of SANS and monitor its progression.
The second device is a specially designed goggle-based headset that will allow astronauts to test the functionality of their visual field, along with other vision tests that can be performed with the same device.
Both technologies will provide NASA scientists with the information they need to detect, monitor SANS progression, and guide medical interventions for astronauts while still in space.
Grant Funding by TRISH – NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) partners with external entities in researching and developing innovative approaches to reduce risks to humans on long-duration exploration missions, including NASA’s Journey to Mars. One of these partnerships is the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH).
The mission of the TRISH is to lead a national effort in translating cutting edge emerging terrestrial biomedical research and technology development into applied space flight human risk mitigation strategies for human exploration missions.
Web Vision is partnering with Nidek Technologies – the Italian R&D subsidiary of NIDEK Co. Ltd, a global leader in vision care instrumentation for the eye care industry – to help with the development, design, and prototyping of the two devices.
Web Vision Technologies CEO Bob Main said:”We are excited to be working with NASA on these two very important vision testing devices.
“We are passionate about helping the space program achieve their goal of returning to the moon and putting humans on Mars and we are confident that the team we have put together will be able to deliver the technology that NASA needs to help monitor and find a solution to the SANS vision issue affecting astronauts on long duration flights.
“We are also grateful to TRISH for supplying the funding necessary to develop this technology and many more in the future.”
Source: Company Press Release