20 May NASA Spinoff: Biometric Sensor Tracks Vital Signs for Health
NASA monitors its astronauts in orbit 24/7, aiming both to learn new information about how human bodies adapt to microgravity as well as to keep track of their health day-to-day. Technology developed to aid in that monitoring has pushed forward wearable technology here on Earth too, helping create devices that could provide clues to heart disease and more.
Many people already keep track of heart rate, whether with a smart watch or an exercise monitor. But for a 2012-2014 project funded by NASA, researcher Lino Velo was interested in going deeper. “The purpose of the program was to be able to detect whether a subject, in this case an astronaut, is under stress,” he explains, and the goal was to create a wearable device that detected this stress in real time, something that will be especially important for deep space missions.