NASA’s Johnson Space Center will provide Telemedicine Instrumentation
Packages to The University of Texas at El Paso and Beaumont Army Medical
Center for projects designed to improve medical care for space travelers
as well as residents of remote areas on Earth.

Under a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement to be signed today 6 in El
Paso, two Telemedicine Instrumentation Packages (TIPs) will go to the
university. One will be tested and analyzed by UTEP’s College of
Engineering, which will recommend advanced approaches to the design. The
other will be used in one of the Border Clinics of UTEP’s College of
Health Sciences for real-world application.

A similar agreement will be signed at the same ceremony with Beaumont
Army Medical Center at El Paso. It will use a TIP under field

A TIP was tested in space aboard Endeavour on STS-89 in January 1998. It
was used to provide basic physical examinations for crewmembers and then
transmit information to physicians on the ground. Data included blood
pressure readings and ECGs.

Under Space Act Agreements, a company or other entity and NASA agree to
share development costs and results. The idea is to provide the benefits
of space-based technology to people on Earth through cooperation with
the private sector, the academic world, government organizations or
other institutions.

Lee Snapp of Johnson Space Center’s Technology Transfer Division visited
two of the Border Clinics. He said he believes the TIPs, valued at
almost $36,000, could be a valuable tool for them.

Nurse practitioners run the clinics. They are on the U.S. side of the
border. “The clinics serve anyone who walks in,” Snapp said. “They often
see patients who have never seen a doctor.”

Part of NASA’s business is supplying technology, he said. “We do have
technology that can help serve this population.”

It is, however, mid-90s technology. Through these Space Act Agreements,
NASA believes the TIPs design can be improved using recent technological
advances. The goal is to develop, in cooperation with UTEP and Beaumont
Army Medical Center, a smaller, lighter and better TIP.

Johnson Space Center has an active program to transfer technology
designed for space into products to improve life on earth. Space
technology in propulsion; structures; energy generation, storage, and
transmission; human factors engineering; aerospace medicine; sensors;
communications; computers; and materials are transferred from the
government to the private sector.

For additional information, visit NASA’s Technology Transfer website at: