Phyxable, a virtual care platform that connects patients with physical therapists and provides users with tools to proactively manage their health, has been selected by the Canadian Space Agency as one of five companies to contribute to its 2023 project Health Beyond initiativethat supports sustainable and innovative solutions to address the health challenges faced by astronauts.
dr Jim Feng, CEO of Phyxable, sat down with us Mobile Health News to discuss that Connected Care Medical module The physical therapy company and its partners are working with the agency to analyze the health of astronauts during spaceflight.
Mobile Health News: How does Phyxable work with the Canadian Space Agency?
dr Jim Feng: CSA and NASA, and everyone currently on this new spaceflight journey to Mars, are looking for better ways to improve human health. And if you look at health in space, especially health in space where there are long flights that can take six months or more and in a zero gravity situation, then the way you look after those patients and around taking care of itself, really very different from what we do on earth.
First, we don’t have the resources. That’s the key component there. And then there are probably only generalists who know a little about many things but not much about small things.
So part of the CSA, and that’s public information, is the RFP [request for proposal] What they came out was specifically for two components. One of them is the hardware side. How do you actually build small clinics and hospitals that can be both autonomous and self-sufficient? So we built this really cool medical capsule and will be able to present it in the coming months.
It’s going to be at the Canadian Space Agency for NATO and NASA so people can come and see it, so these are really exciting times. So we have this pod that is completely autonomous. There are about 30 solar panels, a rain collection system, UV sterilization, you name it, we’ve got it. We even have robotics there.
The hardware is built by three partners. So it’s Phyxable, Micron Digital and WizCraft Design. So we have all the skills to build the components and hardware components. And yes, the pod is actually called Advanced Medical Pods.
And a key component of this is that it must be interoperable. In order to get different solutions, you have to be able to connect and play different devices there. Because we can’t build everything, at the end of the day we want to be able to integrate everything. So this is the key. So there will be many players who will work on the Phyxable platform.
And then, on the other side, is the software. We’ve built a really cool AI-based tool that we’re going to introduce to the world, and I think it solves a big interoperability problem. It’s called Morpheus. There’s more to come. That’s Phyxable and Micron Digital together. We are working together on the project, led by Rohit Seth.
MHN: How is the module supposed to effectively connect providers here on Earth with astronauts in space, especially since there can be delays in communication time depending on location?
feng: There is definitely a lag. So I think the difference between what we’re building along with a mesh network that Micron Digital actually has and that we’re building into the system allows for different types of connectivity.
It’s totally autonomous. It can work on its own, but if you need to branch out, it provides a way to sync with the cloud on Earth and vice versa. And as far as telemedicine goes, the way cases are handled is changing. The workflow changes. As the workflow changes, you need to change the way the information is passed, such as from text/voices, images, captions, and things in between.
And what we’re predicting is that we’ll have a demo ready at our showcase in the second week of July. So then we will actually be completely out in the world.
A lot of things have to function autonomously on the ships, on the space station, at the gateway, on the moon bases and hopefully at some point on the Mars bases as well. And this is where really good AI can come in to suggest some implementation tasks to the generalists that are there and how to do them.
So these are things that we also build for the system. So we’re really excited about that because I think it’s ultimately going to really speed up our work here on Earth.