News

Arab Astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi Participates in Astroskin Supported Research Aboard the International Space Station

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

Astroskin Abord the ISS

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:

  1. SpaceX CRS-16 (December 5th, 2018)
  2. Cygnus NG-11 (April 17th, 2019)
  3. SpaceX CRS-18 (July 25th, 2019)
  4. SpaceX CRS-19 (December 5th, 2019
  5. SpaceX CRS-20 (March 7th, 2020)
  6. Cygnus NG-14 (October 3rd, 2020)
  7. SpaceX CRS-21 (December 6th, 2020)
  8. SpaceX CRS-22 (June 3rd, 2021)
  9. SpaceX CRS-23 (August 29th, 2021)
  10. SpaceX Crew-4 (April 27th, 2022)
  11. SpaceX Crew-5 (October 5th, 2022)
  12. SpaceX Crew-6 (February 26th, 2023)
  13. SpaceX NG-19 (May 6th, 2023)
  14. SpaceX CRS-28 (June 5th, 2023)

 

Hexoskin's Co-Founder and CEO Pierre-Alexandre Fournier on The Bleeding Edge of Digital Health Podcast

In this episode of the Bleeding Edge of Digital Health, host Mike Moore speaks with entrepreneur, scientist, and co-founder of Hexoskin, Pierre-Alexander Fournier.

Mike and Pierre talk about how his latest tech garment is being utilized in health care today, how it is benefiting not just the patient but the physician as well, and more importantly, the future products and garments in Hexoskin’s pipeline that will pave the way for further innovation and change the way we take care of our health, and the health of the ones we care about. Be sure to listen to the entire session.

Podcast flyer image with portraits of Mike Moore and Pierre-Alexandre Fournier

 

Notable Quotes

“So, we're working on different garments. We do have another product that has more sensors called the Astroskin that is being used in research, and that's the product that is being used in the space station right now for different research projects in microgravity. The Astroskin is the model Chris Hemsworth is wearing in Limitless.”

“Research groups we're working with have built the largest database of vital signs for many specific health conditions. So, there are a lot of things that will come out of it. And as I said earlier, we're not just building a product for single use. Eventually, we're going to add blocks to that platform so that it can be used for several types of disease, and it's going to become a great bundle for people with comorbidities.”

Podcast links:

Apple Podcast

Spotify

Google Podcasts

Youtube (full video)

CGI and Hexoskin to Work Together on Connected Medical Clinic Project

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.

Hexoskin will contribute Astroskin devices and AI-based medical software to the project. A first demonstration is planned for June 2023.

 

About the Connected Care Medical Modules

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)

Hexoskin Receives 2022 International Space Station Research Innovation Award for Human Health in Space from American Astronautical Society

Hexoskin - International Space Station Research Innovation Award for Human Health in Space 2022

 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.

About Astroskin

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.

Axiom-1 Mission Ready to Blast Off!

Ax-1 Mission - Mark Pathy - Canadian Private Astronaut

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.

Astroskin set to be used in Space by Private Astronaut Mark Pathy

Mark Pathy - Private Astronaut - Ax-1 Mission - Astroskin Astroskin will soon be getting another ride to Space, thanks to Canadian Private Astronaut Mark Pathy and the first-ever private mission to the ISS, Ax-1, organized by Axiom Space. The Ax-1 space mission is set to send a crew of four private astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on board a SpaceX Crew Dragon. Set to launch in April 2022, Ax-1 is a 10-day mission where at least eight days will be spent inside the ISS to conduct several research experiments including research on the effects of microgravity, chronic pain, and sleep disturbances. Mark will be joined on Ax1 by fellow crew members Eytan Stibbe from Israel, Larry Connor, and Michael Lopez-Alegria from the United States.

M. Pathy, aged 52, is the CEO and founder of the investment firm MAVRIK CORP. He is recognized in Montreal, the city where he resides, to support several causes as a philanthropist. Married and father of three children, Mark Pathy decided to leverage his participation in this mission to collaborate with the Canadian Space Agencies to conduct experiments in microgravity that are a priority for children’s and universities. Mark Pathy - Montreal Investor - Philanthropist - First Private Astronaut to wear Astroskin in Space on the ISS

As a Mission Specialist, he will be taking part in a total of 12 science research projects in partnership with six Canadian universities and their investigators, including clinician-researchers at The Montreal Children’s Hospital and Child Health Research at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and become the first private Astronaut to wear Astroskin on board the International Space Station. Pathy will be funding himself the research conducted in Space and contribute to generating results and potential applications on earth that would have taken more time to be realized under the current Canadian space program. 

Going to space involves months of planning. Canadian Private Astronaut Mark Pathy has been busy training at NASA Johnson Space Center ahead of the launch.

Pathy and his crew already took part in training exercises and will now embark on seventeen weeks of training to get ready for the mission. We look forward to following him and the Ax-1 mission in the coming weeks and months.

 

Japanese Astronaut Aki Hoshide (JAXA) Wears the Astroskin Bio-Monitor in the International Space Station

Japanese Astronaut Aki Hoshide was the 5th astronaut to wear the Astroskin Bio-Monitor system aboard the International Space Station last week. Astronauts use the Astroskin in space since 2019 to participate in various research studies, including "Vascular Aging", a project lead by University of Waterloo researchers.

Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide inside the International Space Station

Many more astronauts are scheduled to use Astroskin in space. The system is available to all participating space agencies and research universities. The most recent Astroskin payload was launched with SpaceX's mission CRS-23 on August 29th, 2021.

Microgravity affects fluid movements in the body and heat transmission (in the absence of convection movement in microgravity). This triggers physiological phenomena impossible to monitor on the ground and tests our models of human physiology. The Astroskin Bio-Monitor system gives scientists a tool to observe these phenomena in space. It also prepares us to maintain crew health during long space missions beyond low earth orbit (LEO), to the Moon and Mars.

A Brief History of the Astroskin

Here's a list of space launches that carried Astroskin payloads:

  1. SpaceX CRS-16 (December 5th, 2018)
  2. Cygnus NG-11 (April 17th, 2019)
  3. SpaceX CRS-18 (July 25th, 2019)
  4. SpaceX CRS-19 (December 5th, 2019
  5. SpaceX CRS-20 (March 7th, 2020)
  6. Cygnus NG-14 (October 3rd, 2020)
  7. SpaceX CRS-21 (December 6th, 2020)
  8. SpaceX CRS-22 (June 3rd, 2021)
  9. SpaceX CRS-23 (August 29th, 2021)

The Astroskin Vital Signs Monitoring Platform is also used on Earth on industrial projects and scientific research

Information about Astroskin missions aboard the ISS:

https://lsda.jsc.nasa.gov/Hardware/hardconfig/3065
https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/i/iss-bio-monitor-analyzer

Astroskin First Flight with Virgin Galactic and Kellie Gerardi

Washington, DC, USA (June 3rd, 2021): Virgin Galactic has announced a new contract to fly International Institute of Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) researcher Kellie Gerardi on a test flight of the company’s spaceflight system, during which Kellie will conduct experiments and test new healthcare technologies (including the Astroskin Bio-Monitor) while she's in space. 

Kellie Gerardi - Virgin Galactic - Astroskin

(Credits: Greentag89, Wikipedia)

The purpose of the research mission is to demonstrate and advance novel scientific research benefits and applications that the spaceflight system provides for human-tended payloads.

The mission will also demonstrate the potential of conducting human research in suborbital flight, building on the research and knowledge gained from a number of Kellie’s reduced gravity flight campaigns performed here on Earth, including with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). 

Virgin Galactic will be able to provide new benefits to the space science research community in the form of repeatability, affordability and quality of the weightless environment which have historically been barriers for many wanting to conduct human spaceflight research.

During the spaceflight, following the shutdown of the rocket motor, Kellie will unbuckle from her seat and undertake the actions necessary to complete each experiment during several minutes of weightlessness. Virgin Galactic will provide training and preparation so that she is fully equipped to carry out her job as mission specialist on this flight and provide on-site pre-flight support for each of the payload experiments.

Working with IIAS, NRC and CSA, Kellie has already operated each payload in reduced gravity flights and will be bringing that unique payload specialist experience to the research mission. The payloads will include bio-monitoring instrumentation, including the Astroskin Bio-Monitor wearable sensors system, developed by Hexoskin with the support of the Canadian Space Agency, that will measure the biological effects of launch, weightlessness, re-entry, and landing on spaceflight participants.

The Astroskin Bio-Monitor has been in operation in the International Space Station since 2019 and is used by space agencies (CSA, NASA, ESA), to monitor astronauts' vital signs in orbit. The Astroskin is also used on Earth by researchers of 5 continents for clinical research applications.

“This historic flight will demonstrate the role private space companies can play to advance our knowledge of human physiology in space, to prepare for future missions to the Moon and beyond” said Pierre-Alexandre Fournier, CEO and co-founder of Hexoskin. “Many private space companies are planning to use the Astroskin system for astronaut training and during spaceflight, because it’s already in operation in the International Space Station.”

For more information about Hexoskin's involvement in this test flight or the Astroskin wearable vital signs sensor system, please contact us by email (contact@hexoskin.com) or by phone at 1-888-887-2044.

Hexoskin Talks Space Medicine at the Healthcare without Boundaries Colloquium

Biomedical researcher Héloïse Auger will talk about Hexoskin's work in space medicine, Astroskin wearable sensors, and artificial intelligence for automated diagnostics at the Healthcare without Boundaries Colloquium this week on June 1-2. Registration is available on Eventbrite: Healthcare without Boundaries Colloquium

Hexoskin has been collaborating with the Canadian Space Agency since 2011 on the development of medical technologies that can be used for human spaceflight. Devices that can record health data passively, like the Astroskin, create an opportunity to develop autonomous medical systems using clinical rules and artificial intelligence to support long-term space missions beyond low Earth orbit.

Astrokin wearable sensors worn by Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques in the International Space Station, January 2019
Are you working on a research project that requires monitoring cardiorespiratory activity in real-life settings? Contact us to discuss your objectives and see how Astroskin or Hexoskin could be useful! 

Advancing space medicine knowledge aboard the ISS. Another space mission for Astroskin / Bio-Monitor!

Earlier this month, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano conducted validation tests on-orbit and wore the Astroskin garment and headband connected to the data unit for his first 72-hour monitoring experience.

Luca Parmitano also conducted maintenance operations for the Astroskin / Bio-Monitor that was deployed on the ISS orbiting lab, last December by Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

Although the ISS is equipped with health and life sciences research tools, the existing instrumentation for continuous and simultaneous recording of several physiological parameters was lacking. To address this issue, the Canadian Space Agency's Bio-Monitor Commissioning activity uses the Astroskin / Bio-Monitor system; a complete vital signs monitoring platform coupled with a wearable garment capable of monitoring relevant physiological parameters in a non-invasive and non-interfering way during a normal day in space. 

The physiological parameters which can be monitored consist of blood pressure, peripheral blood oxygen saturation, 3-lead ECG, respiration, skin temperature, and activity, will help push further our understanding of Vascular aging and Human Physiology in space. 

Venturing into the environment of space, microgravity can have negative effects on the human body. 
When astronauts return to Earth, their carotid arteries, which carry blood to the head and neck, appear to have aged 20 to 30 years. Artery walls become stiffer and thicker in space, the same as when people grow older on Earth.

“You can take extremely healthy, fit astronauts and put them in an environment that restricts their ability to do daily exercise, and they run the risk of developing insulin resistance that on Earth could lead to Type II diabetes,” said principal investigator Richard L. Hughson of Schlegel-University of Waterloo in Ontario

Now operational the Astroskin Bio-Monitor system is available for the next five years to conduct Health research in Space for all participating countries to the International Space Station.

 


Source:
NASA. 2019. ISS Daily Summary Report - 8/14/2019
NASA. 2019. ISS Daily Summary Report - 8/13/2019

 


About Hexoskin
Since 2006, Hexoskin’s mission is to develop sensors and health data infrastructure to generate clinical grade real-world evidence. The Astroskin demonstrates once again Hexoskin’s leadership in providing the industry leading sensors, software, and AI to push further our understanding of human physiology on earth and in space.