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Remote Evaluation of Emotional Distress - remote detection of buildup of emotional distress and stress situations

Chief researcher: Dr. Harel Baris, ARC Space Lab of the ARC Center at the Sheba Medical Center
Partners: Thomas Jefferson University in the United States, Xtrodes, Stroke-Alert

There is a close link between body and soul - it is recognized that emotional distress can have severe implications, no less so than physical morbidity. However while there are solutions enabling the remote diagnosis of physical morbidity, there is to date no technological solution that allows for identifying developing emotional distress and stress. In an age where virtual hospitalization and remote medical care is on an upward trend, the ability to monitor the well-being of our patients becomes even more acute. Several challenges impede the development of solutions for diagnosing emotional distress remotely, since it is impossible to predict exposure to stress-inducing events. However as opposed to everyday life, space missions are a controlled, monitored environment during which significant stressogenic events (for example, being launched on a 500-ton rocket) are expected and planned in advance. Therefore, the clinicians and scientists at the ARC (Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate), at the Center for at the Sheba Medical Center, and their partners at the Thomas Jefferson University in the United States, are taking advantage of this unique opportunity during the Rakia Mission to the International Space Station, to examine the method for remote monitoring emotional distress using an innovative application and advanced sensors, which are being developed at the ARC Center at Sheba.

Throughout all of the stages of this space mission, the crew is going to use the R-CARE application, which has been developed especially for the mission. It consists of a set of short games that challenge various cognitive functions - various memory tasks, motoric functions, and empathy. Using advanced technologies, various physiological indices are going to be monitored on the space travelers - sleep patterns, vital indices, sensory functions.
In addition, as part of this experiment, innovative technologies are going to be demonstrated, which combine remote sensing and monitoring capabilities being developed by Israeli start-ups, which are expected to enhance the clinical tool-kit enabling delivery of remote medicine.

The various findings, the performance during everyday tasks, the sleep monitoring, the visual functions and the variations in the bio-physiological indices are going to be cross-referenced with records from the AX-1 mission and with the International Space Station journals, and the crew’s performance will be compared against significant events throughout their space journey. This unique opportunity to examine the effects of stressful situations in a controlled, supervised environment, will enable further development of technologies and methodologies for remote identification of states of emotional distress.

These solutions are expected to form a significant part of the ability to monitor the well-being of patients, and to enable delivery of optimal medical care to our patients wherever they may be - whether hospitalized in the various wards at Sheba, or in the care of the Beyond virtual hospital, and even in outer space.

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