ISS is a fascinating place to work at but as with everything, it has its pros and cons. The astronauts stationed at ISS don’t have the luxury of visiting a doctor and getting checked up. Although there are robots in design process that could perform complicated medical tasks while being controlled by a doctor at ground station, the process comes with risks. This is where the European Space Agency (ESA) comes in that is busy working with a prototype gadget that will carry out medical tests of astronauts for a myriad of diseases coupled with different medical conditions by making use of a single drop of blood.
The project is a joint venture between ESA and Radisens Diagnostic – an Irish company that already has such a version in production. The gadget’s working principle is simple; it uses a spinning small disc in order to convert blood drop into solid and liquid constituents and for all purposes, can be considered a mini centrifuge. The liquid plasma separated then diffuses into a number of chambers located on the disc for testing.
The version of this gadget that is being sold here commercially uses cartridges to check for heart disease, liver function, cancers, diabetes, and more. Company is quite optimistic about the adaptation to zero gravity environment and claim that the centrifugal process will run seamlessly even in the absence of gravity.
Those astronauts who are on long missions have more than just space effects to deal with; they have to deal with changes in their own human bodies and this gadget aim at providing them much needed medical support in space. Although no time frame has been given about when this gadget will be deployed at ISS, we are hopeful that it will take place very soon.