Monday, January 13, 2014

Remote Medicine Comes Down to Earth

          by Sarah Ansari-Manea

Ultrasound exam on ISS. Photo c/o Mediphan.
Ottawa based Mediphan, known for making remote medicine possible aboard the International Space Station (ISS), has been developing and perfecting their technologies.

Remote-access medicine, also known as telemedicine, is a growing field whereby patient information is transferred through a series of standard networks, allowing for a doctor to remotely diagnose, and occasionally conduct procedures.

The technology has immediate applications during long duration space missions, such as potential travel to mars and beyond, as well as use here on Earth in areas that require remote medical access. But as outlined in the April 13th, 2013 blog post "Canadian based Mediphan Inducted into Space Technology Hall of Fame," the company is essentially unrecognized at home, although it is recognized internationally.

As outlined on the Space Foundation website, “Mediphan technologies enable the cost-effective application of telemedicine solutions, created by Dr. Dulchavsky’s team and NASA for spaceflight, to better life on Earth, especially in developing countries around the world.” In April 2013, the Space Foundation inducted Mediphan and the NASA Johnson Space Center, along with Dr. Scott A. Dulchavsky, Mediphan CEO Mike Sandler and NASA astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao for their role in developing and commercializing the Mediphan technology.

Interestingly enough, Mediphan CEO Sandler is also the founder and CEO of Epiphan Systems. The company, (which owns Mediphan) made its name providing remote business collaboration solutions using a product line of frame grabbers, recorders and broadcasting devices enable personnel located in various locations to interface in real-time, collaborating and exchanging ideas via voice, video and data.

As outlined in the May 21st, 2013 press release, "Epiphan to demonstrate the latest AV Capture, Streaming, and Recording Appliances at Infocomm 2013 on June 12-14 in Orlando, Florida" and the July 4th, 2013 press release, "New firmware adds Set-Top Box and Smart TV functionality to VGADVI Broadcaster, Lecture Recorder x2, VGADVI Recorder," Epiphan recently announced additional capabilities for its product lines to allow it to add direct consumers to its solutions, by incorporating set top boxes and smart TV capabilities.
These additional capabilities mean that Epiphan/ Mediphan can add revenue from companies looking at expanding their environmentally friendly telecommuting environment or other organizations.

Workers at home or any Internet connected location, can be communicating in real time with coworkers or other personnel, without the need for specialized equipment.  Students can receive course content delivery in real-time from a live class taking place thousands of kilometers away, just by having access to an Internet connected TV.

Sarah Ansari-Manea.
While Epiphan focuses on delivering collaborative solutions for use here on earth, Mediphan enables collaborative solutions for space travel beyond Earth’s safe environment.

Sarah Ansari-Manea is an aspiring astrophysicist, currently completing a specialist in physics and astronomy at the University of Toronto.

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