This is it! The week we host LAUNCH: Health, the second in our series of sustainability incubators.
NASA partnered with USAID, Department of State, and NIKE to create the LAUNCH initiative to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to global challenges. Through LAUNCH, NASA can host a global conversation about innovative solutions. We’re problem-solvers, after all. That’s what we do best.
Here’s a quote from our LAUNCH: Health challenge:
Sustaining quality of life on Earth and in space requires transformative advances in science and technology, along with new models, policies and behaviors that will guide human development. The search for innovative technology solutions to ensure healthy astronauts orbiting the planet mirrors healthcare challenges faced by providers throughout the world. The same requirements for simple, rugged, ultra portable, low power devices to provide remote diagnostic capability serves dual needs for humans living within the extreme environments on and off the planet.
We put out an open call through InnoCentive to search for solutions. We augmented the call with an internal search for innovations that might not bubble up through InnoCentive process. Meet our ten Health Innovators:
David Van Sickle, Asthmapolis: a devise to track and measure a patient’s self-treatment for asthma by attaching a GPS receiver and rechargeable battery to a standard inhaler. Can also be used to monitor air quality….
Gijsbert van de Wijdeven, Bioneedle: a biodegradable needle that dissolves under the skin releasing the vaccine, leaving behind no waste products. No medical professional is required to deliver the injection, which is inserted with an air compressor.
Erick Toledo, The Chlorine Bank: a grocery-story-style supply chain network to provide low-cost chlorine-based water purification products to rural communities.
Dieterich Lawson, FrontLine SMS Medic: text messaging solutions that connect doctors and patient medical records with remotely-located healthcare workers and their patients.
Ben Reis, HealthySocial/Food Hero: a social media-based game that fights obesity by teaching children about healthy eating and exercise as they care for a “troll” that can only perform when healthy.
Matt Sanders, Imetrikus Medi Compass Connect: networked technology to connect chronic pain patients with their doctors on a regular basis through home monitoring devices connected via computer, modem, or smart phone.
Aydogan Ozcan, LUCAS: A miniaturized microscope attached to a cell phone that detects parasites and bacteria in blood and water in remote locations.
Samuel Sia, mChip: Lab-in-a-box. A handheld device that can analyze diseases — such as HIV, syphilis, hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted diseases — in 15 minutes from a drop of blood.
Ramesh Raskar, NETRA: portable eye doctor (minus the physician). A small measuring device that administers an eye test and determines necessary correction with the touch of a button.
Jonathan Attwood, ZamZee: a handheld device for kids to encourage and record movement, and reward physical activity with virtual shopping credits.
We’ll be streaming the presentations live. Stay tuned for details on LAUNCH.org website.
We’re also pleased to welcome our LAUNCH Council to the Kennedy Space Center. You can find their bios on the LAUNCH.org website. They represent diverse backgrounds from entrepreneurs to scientists and engineers to venture capitalists to leaders in government, media and business, who will help to guide the innovators as they move forward toward successful implementation of their products and ideas.
Our hope is that they see begin to see “space” in a new light as an integral part of the global sustainability conversation.
LAUNCH: Water was our first forum back in March. We have Mark Tonkin, one of our LAUNCH: Water Innovators, coming back to talk with the group this weekend. We’re hoping to bring in Astronaut Ron Garan for a quick hello. Ron, you may recall, was one of our LAUNCH: Water Innovators for his humanitarian effort to bring clean water to children in Africa through Manna Energy. He’s down at the Space Shuttle launch, and is one of our STS-133 Tweetup speakers.
Yes, it’s going to be a busy, amazing week! We’re also hosting 150 enthusiastic STS-133 tweeters at the press site, AND, let’s not forget the Space Shuttle launch inself, which is what this fuss is all about in the first place.
The STS-133 crew will leave the boundaries of Earth onboard Space Shuttle Discovery for her final flight on Monday, November 1 at 4:40 p.m. EST.
God speed STS-133!
If you want to participate in LAUNCH: Health, we have several options for you. You can watch the Innovator presentations via U-Stream. You can also interact with us through NASA Mind Mapr, cousin of NASA Buzzroom. Mind Mapr offers web-based virtual participation for you by allowing you to create an account to log into the system to add comments or pose questions. You can also follow the LAUNCH twitter account.
Best of HEALTH to you all — LAUNCH: Health, that is. :)