The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), based at Baylor College of Medicine, is a consortium of biomedical institutions that study the health risks related to long-duration spaceflight and developing the technologies and countermeasures needed for human space exploration missions.
The EyeBoxCNS, a diagnostic device developed to assess brain health through tracking eye movement, and eFormulations, software enabled therapeutics which combine prescription medicines with customized software apps for brain-related conditions, have both been funded for further development by NSBRI.
EyeBoxCNS, developed by Oculogica, Inc. of New York City, and eFormulations, a therapeutic platform by Pear Therapeutics, Inc. of Boston, are being funded by the Space Medical and Related Technologies Commercialization Program (SMARTCAP) Industry Forum. SMARTCAP grants are used to partner with the private sector to accelerate the development of products meeting a need in space as well as on Earth. SMARTCAP-funded projects should advance the commercialization of a product, such as new applications for existing products, reformulation or refinement of prototypes, or usability testing.
Elevated pressure on the brain due to exposure to the space environment is believed to cause visual impairments in some astronauts."EyeBoxCNS can detect weaknesses of the nerves that move the eye. These nerves are very sensitive to changes in pressure on the brain, and thus are revealed by the eye tracking technology we are developing," said Dr. Uzma Samadani, co-founder of Oculogica. Pear Therapeutics is developing combination therapies for a variety of brain-related disorders including pain, sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety.
"EyeboxCNS and eFormulations represent new ways to administer healthcare and we are thrilled to play our part in accelerating the development of these promising technologies for the benefit of space explorers as well as people on Earth," said Dr. Dorit Donoviel, NSBRI's Deputy Chief Scientist and Industry Forum Lead. Donoviel is also an assistant professor within the Baylor College of Medicine Center for Space Medicine and Department of Pharmacology.
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