For quite a long time, NASA has failed to understand the cause of space returning astronauts experiencing moderate and extreme eye problems, said Dr Dorit Donoviel. In the direction of combating and preventing these issues further, NSBRI has partnered with space medicine department of Baylor College of Medicine. They’ve released this Vision for Mars Challenge in a quest to bring out medical technologies to check ocular health at space via collaboration and financial support. Dr Donoviel is the industrial forum lead and deputy chief manager of NSB Research Institute.
According to PhD holder Donoviel, NASA requires clinically diagnostic and space research supporting technologies. It is to offer crucial information on ocular health at space missions. These should be small, long lasting and simple in use by even non experts. This is a great chance for all the smaller US located ophthalmology companies to get the necessary funds and gear up the growth of their own products.
As per NSBRI, small businesses are called to come up with the technologies which are enough flexible to be carried onto space. This is to have tests for etiology and treating vision impairment syndrome among the astronauts. As per NSB Research Institute, NASA needs the ophthalmology technologies that cover the following:
- Determining refraction at space
- Space vision field testing
- Accurate and simple way of measuring IOP
- Measuring posterior pole’s sclera thickness
- Techniques for imaging retinal and other ocular vasculature
- Determining benign versus disc edema
- Estimates translaminar pressure throughout lamina cribrosa
This challenge would leverage SMARTCAP which is a recent industry forum enterprise which identifies and finances small companies of US to develop medical technologies, expressed Dr Donoviel.
Since 2011, SMARTCAP is rewarding small companies with funds and has recently included ophthalmology owing to its significance to NASA. Dr Dorit Donoviel expressed that they’ll assess technologies to decide upon any one for investment and working alongside. The Mars Challenge will provide three grants that is equal to $100,000 each which would be a non-dilutive financing. The announcements for the awards takes place in Feb and would be granted in March, expressed Dr Donoviel. She explained that they are attempting to speed up and keep the momentum to provide the money needed by the ophthalmology companies to make progress.
Benjamin Frankfort said that the significance of the learning from this initiative is also substantial for earthly research. He is an ophthalmology professor at the Baylor Medicine College and had previously researched the Mars Challenge. Dr Frankfort said that whatever they learn out of various mechanisms that help in understanding glaucoma is quite helpful.
Jane Rady said that to continue the space explorations beyond the possibilities such as a Mars mission, ophthalmic leaders should unite to help in improving the visual health in Astronauts. She holds dual designations including divisional VP of business development at the Abbott Medical optics. She also features in the advisory board of the challenge’s ophthalmic dream team. Jane added that both their industry and patients may benefit from such collaborations.
Author Bio: Tony Rollan provides consulting services to VSI (http://www.patternless.com/) and he is an author of many articles on all types of optical and ophthalmic equipment. Author talks about medicine, health, alternative healing, sport and wellbeing.
CImage credit: / 123RF Stock Photo