Web Vision Technologies was recently awarded two grants from Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine to develop vision-testing devices for the 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 experience on long-duration deep space missions.
The human body suffers in the microgravity environment of space. Spaceflight-Associated Neuroocular Syndrome (SANS) describes the vision-related issues that happen to astronauts on long-duration spaceflight. NASA views SANS as a significant problem that needs further study before sending astronauts on deep space exploration missions.
To help find solutions to these issues, NASA has asked Web Vision Technologies 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 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 to help with the development, design, and prototyping of the two devices.
“We are excited to be working with NASA on these two very important vision testing devices,” states Bob Main, CEO Web Vision Technologies. “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 SANS 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.”