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Old 04-27-2010
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Default For you idiots who believe NASA should be scrapped...

Medical space spinoffs from the early space exploration years (pre-Mercury through Apollo projects)

Radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. In conjunction with Cleveland Clinic, the cyclotron at NASA’s center in Cleveland, Ohio—which had been utilized for testing nuclear propulsion systems for air and space craft—was used in the first clinical trials for the treatment and evaluation of neutron radiation therapy for cancer patients.

Foldable walkers. Made from a lightweight metal material developed by NASA for aircraft and spacecraft, foldable walkers are portable and easy to manage.

Personal alert systems. These are emergency alert devices that can be worn by individuals who may require emergency medical or safety assistance. When a button is pushed, the device sends a signal to a remote location for help. To send the signal, the device relies on telemetry technology developed at NASA.

CAT Scans and MRIs. These devices are used by hospitals to see inside the human body. Their development would not have been possible without the technology provided by NASA after it found a way to take better pictures of the Earth’s moon.

Muscle stimulator device. This device is used for ½ hour per day to prevent muscle atrophy in paralyzed individuals. It provides electrical stimulation to muscles which is equal to jogging three miles per week. Christopher Reeves used these in his therapy.

Orthopedic evaluation tools. Equipment to evaluate posture, gait, and balance disturbances was developed at NASA, along with a radiation-free way to measure bone flexibility using vibration.

Diabetic foot mapping. This technique was developed at NASA’s center in Cleveland, Ohio to help monitor the effects of diabetes in feet. These efforts helped Foam cushioning.

Special foam used for cushioning astronauts during liftoff is used in pillows and mattresses at many nursing homes and hospitals to help prevent ulcers, relieve pressure, and provide a better night’s sleep.

Kidney dialysis machines. These machines rely on technology developed by NASA in order to process and remove toxic waste from used dialysis fluid.

Talking wheelchairs. Paralyzed individuals who have difficulty speaking may use a talking feature on their wheelchairs which was developed by NASA to create synthesized speech for aircraft.

Collapsible, lightweight wheelchairs. These wheelchairs are designed for portability and can be folded and put into trunks of cars. They rely on synthetic materials that NASA developed for its air and space craft

Surgically implantable heart pacemaker. These devices depend on technologies developed by NASA for use with satellites. They communicate information about the activity of the pacemaker, such as how much time remains before the batteries need to be replaced.

Implantable heart defibrillator. This tool continuously monitors heart activity and can deliver an electric shock to restore heartbeat regularity.
EMS Communications. Technology used to communicate telemetry between Earth and space was developed by NASA to monitor the health of astronauts in space from the ground. Ambulances use this same technology to send information—like EKG readings—from patients in transport to hospitals. This allows faster and better treatment.

Weightlessness. While not an invention per se, the weightlessness of space one day may allow individuals with limited mobility on Earth—even those normally confined to wheelchairs—the freedom to move about with ease. A notable individual to take advantage of weightlessness in the "Vomit Comet" during 2007 was physicist Stephen Hawking.
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