Analyzing the Health Effects of Space Travel with AI

Space is a frontier for global innovation, but space doesn’t come without its limits. As exploration grows, the importance of human health in outer space grows as well. Shashi Jain, Senior Strategic Innovation Manager at Intel, and Dr. John Kalantari, Chief Technology Officer at Yrikka, Inc. spoke  with host Tyler Kern about the movement collaboration between Intel and the Frontier Development Lab an applied artificial intelligence research accelerator established to maximize new AI technologies and capacities emerging in academia and space and exploration.

The Intel and Frontier Development Lab collaboration aims to improve the data collection of astronauts. The collaboration is working to make space exploration safer and healthier through artificial intelligence. “The collaboration with Intel rose organically. We were already applying AI and machine learning in the space, specifically for decision making,” says Dr. Kalantari.

“AI, when it comes to terrestrial medicine, is suffering from the same challenges as astronaut health and space medicine,” says Dr. Kalantari, who believes part of the issue is combining the health data of astronauts safely and securely into one database. “To train an AI, you have to bring together all the data into one spot and use that to train the algorithms,” says Shashi Jain.

The risk of spending time in space is detrimental to the human body. According to NASA, when astronauts are in microgravity, the human body loses muscle mass and bone density. Physically and psychologically, the impact on human bodies could be detrimental. The mission could fail if health issues hinder a crew member on a mission.

Currently, the effects on astronauts are similar to how we gather health information on earth. Data is collected through observation and measuring vitals. “We use this collection of data before, during, and after each mission to identify any prominent biomarkers that could be indicators of disease progression,” says Jain. The main challenge of the project is maintaining the privacy of the individuals so that the collected data can train AI for the future.

For more information on the power of technology and the future of astronaut health, connect with Shashi Jain and Dr. John Kalantari on LinkedIn or explore Intel’s Health and Life Sciences page.

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