Robotic surgery and telemedicine
Exploration class missions (ECM’s) to Mars, the outer planets and beyond will require extended diagnostic and therapeutic medical capabilities, but these will be constrained by equipment and training limitations. It would be nice to embark a full surgical suite onboard an interplanetary spacecraft, but logistics will prevent that. Instead, it will be necessary to employ other strategies and techniques to ensure the health and wellbeing of those venturing beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). Since ECM’s are at least a decade or so in the future, it’s not surprising that the medical training for such a mission has yet to be defined. Today’s astronauts orbiting onboard the International Space Station (ISS) receive medical training and are under the care of a non-physician crew medical officer (CMO) who receives 40 to 80 hours of basic medical and procedural training before the mission. The crew can also avail themselves of onboard medical and procedural checklists and audio communication with a flight surgeon at Mission Control in Houston, Texas.
KeywordsInternational Space Station Stereoscopic Image Surgical Robot Defense Advance Research Project Agency Outer Planet
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