NASA Spinoff

Ventilator Technologies Sustain Critically Injured Patients

“Our equipment is used on both polar icecaps and by militaries around the world in unique environments,” he says.

Also under the SAA and in conjunction with military funding, Impact, with support from NASA, is developing a system that could provide comprehensive medical care to patients far-removed from the benefits of a hospital— whether in space, on the battlefield, onboard a rescue helicopter, or in a mass casualty event field hospital. The Lightweight Trauma Module (LTM) combines an array of medical technology into a single device about the size of a briefcase.

“To date, most critical care transport systems use an aggregation of individual devices,” Beck says. These devices include ventilators, heart monitors, and IV pumps that have their own screens, power supplies, and operating systems. “These levels of redundancy lead to higher mass, higher volume, and higher power consumption. What the LTM does is take all of those components and put them into a highly portable 30-pound box,” says Beck.

The Advanced Project Group at NASA worked with Impact to design and produce multiple prototype iterations of the LTM. The result is a state-of-the-art device suitable for use in all environments and operated with minimal training. Impact recently delivered two LTMs to the U.S. military for initial testing, and through a grant from the NASA-funded National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Impact and 10Blade Inc. of Acton, Massachusetts, are integrating the LTM with 10Blade’s iRevive medical software.

The iRevive technology uses the information gathered by the LTM and organizes it into a patient care plan. It also compiles the data and provides it in an efficient, medically relevant format to remote doctors, who can use the information to help guide the caregiver. The result, Beck says, is a common platform to monitor both the patient and the therapeutic intervention. Documentation of the data produced by the LTM, whether it is the patient’s condition during transport and at arrival or trending vital signs and administered treatments, provides caregivers a unique opportunity to assess patient status and treatment options on an easy-to-use interface. And since the patient data is efficiently organized and formatted, patient data can be sent ahead to allow receiving caregivers time to review critical care information and continue the patient treatment plan upon arrival.

“For prehospital care and critical care transport inside and outside the hospital, the LTM is going to be the way forward,” Beck states.

Impact®, Uni-Vent®, EMV+®, and LTM® are registered trademarks of Impact Instrumentation Inc.
Eagle II™ and Smart Help™ are trademarks of Impact Instrumentation Inc.
iRevive® is a registered trademark of 10Blade Inc.