Medical Challenges and Care in Space Missions

Looking out from the international space station

Event details

Wednesday 30 September 2020
Online event
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This presentation will introduce and discuss manned space exploration, which is conducted in very unique environments, such as on space-based platforms in low-Earth orbit and onboard spacecraft, and will in the future include habitats located on the surface of the Moon and Mars. The characteristics of such settings, considering structures required to support human life, together with the difficulties and costs involved in travelling from Earth to far-off locations, makes it impossible for medical teams to personally assist astronauts. The space environment also generates a series of medical conditions, as astronauts adapt to hypogravity or microgravity, have to deal with psycho-emotional issues, and are continuously exposed to radiation. Telemedicine and eHealth, which involve the use of telecommunications and technological tools for the acquisition, storage and transmission of health data, and allowing virtual meetings between professionals located in different regions, countries, or beyond, have been used to resolve this problem, providing a solution for overcoming the physical distance between medical doctor and patient.

Speaker Bio:

Prof. Thais Russomano graduated in medicine from the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil (1985) and specialised in internal and emergency medicine. She also has a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Medicine - Wright State University, USA (1991), and a PhD in Space Physiology - King's College London (1998). She worked for 3 years as a Space Scientist at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Cologne, Germany, before founding the Microgravity Centre, PUCRS, a unique international reference centre in the study of human space physiology and space biomedical engineering, which she coordinated for 18 years. Thais has been linked to King's College London in different academic positions since her PhD in 1994, having acted at CHAPS, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London, as the Deputy Course Director/ Senior Lecturer of the Space Physiology & Health MSc degree course (2009-2020). In addition, she is a visiting professor at Aalto University, Finland, in Space & Design, and Deggendorf Institute of Technology, European Campus, Germany, contributing to the MSc in Medical Informatics, UFCSPA in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in the areas of human phys in extreme environments & digital health, and the Faculty of Medicine at the Univ of Lisbon in space phys & aviation medicine. She is also a Director of two space-related private companies, InnovaSpace Ltd (UK) and the International Space Medicine Consortium Inc. (USA). Thais has more than 30 years of experience teaching and researching in the fields of Aerospace Medicine, Space Physiology, Aerospace Biomedicine, Aerospace Biomedical Engineering and TeleHealth, including participation in 200+ scientific events with 300+ scientific papers presented. She has also authored books, book chapters and numerous papers in her areas of expertise. Thais is an Elected Academician of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine (IAASM), and the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), for which she serves on the Board of Trustees. She is also a member of international associations and societies in space, aviation and telehealth (ISfTeH), a Board Member of companies, and further holds patents related to Space Life Sciences and Aerospace Biomedical Engineering. Thais is currently acting as a voluntary Mentor for Space4Women, an initiative of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). 

Prof Thais Russomano, MD, MSc, PhD is an academic in the areas of Space Physiology, Aviation Medicine, Telemedicine & Digital Health in Universities in Europe and Brazil, as well as the Co-Founder & CEO, InnovaSpace UK.

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