On December 5, 2020 at 11:37 AM ET, new critical research projects fly on the 21st SpaceX Cargo Mission heading for the International Space Station (ISS). HemoCue is proud to announce its participation in this adventure and for being selected in the critical research and technology demonstration run by NASA Human Research Program. A small drop of blood can be an ocean of knowledge – perhaps even in outer space.
With close to 40 years of experience providing quality and trusted technology to customers worldwide, HemoCue is proud to support the NASA Human Research project and provide the crew members on board the International Space Station with this unique benefit of running a total white blood cell (WBC) count including a 5-part differential within minutes*. Verification of an autonomous capability for blood analysis on the space station is an important step toward meeting the health care needs of crew members on future explorative missions, including projects like e.g. NASA’s Artemis program to the Moon.
The research project will test the ability of the HemoCue device to provide quick and accurate counts of total and differentiated white blood cells in microgravity. A successful demonstration means that the device could be considered for use on future exploration missions to indicate the presence of certain medical conditions, diagnose illnesses, monitor conditions such as bacterial/viral infections or radiation exposure, track the response to treatment, and assess the severity of an illness during interplanetary spaceflight.
“HemoCue has been at the forefront of point-of-care testing technology for close to 40 years and we intend to continue to innovate and advance the healthcare industry long into the future. I am excited to see how our dedication and innovation can touch people’s lives in the years to come – and now soon also being used by astronauts on board the ISS. We are eager to see how the ease of use, lab-accuracy and well-known HemoCue quality will provide the astronauts on board the ISS with assistance in diagnosing and treating medical conditions even in this demanding environment”, says Christophe Duret, CEO at HemoCue.
“HemoCue products have been tested in evaluation projects in demanding environments over the years. From 0 gravity tests preparing for space flights, extreme conditions in Antarctica, tough expeditions in Himalaya and travelling with drones in Malawi – our products and technologies have been exposed to the most challenging situations in the past and have now also shown that the ease of use and robustness makes them qualified even for space research missions”, Christophe Duret concludes.
*HemoCue® WBC DIFF System is not available in the US.