Astroskin: Canada's Smart Shirt for Space

What is Astroskin?

Astroskin - Astronaut medical monitoring system

(Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

Astroskin is an autonomous medical monitoring system for astronauts, which consists of an intelligent garment for the upper body and a headband fitted with sensors, and associated software and technology that measure vital signs, sleep quality and activity level of the wearer. Developed for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) by Carré Technologies of Montreal, Québec, a future version of the current Astroskin prototype could monitor astronauts' health on board the International Space Station (ISS).

Applications for life on Earth

Carré Technologies used the knowledge gained from the Astroskin project to refine a version for professional and amateur athletes here on Earth. Known as the Hexoskin, the product is currently commercially available for sports performance, sleep, and health tracking.

Wearable biomedical diagnostics technology could eventually become a useful tool for patients on Earth—especially for those living in remote communities
with medical conditions requiring regular monitoring. The smart shirt collects data seamlessly and automatically, and is equipped with an alert feature that can process historical data to predict future trends, and send warnings immediately to a patient's doctor whenever medical parameters require attention.

No limits

From geology training in the Canadian high Arctic, to exploring ocean beds in submarines, and venturing into otherworldly caves, astronauts are put to the test to make sure they are ready to meet and excel at the many challenges they will face during their mission, and to learn to conduct science. Similarly, before any new technology is sent to space, it also undergoes a rigorous testing process to ensure its reliability and performance. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has teamed up with XPAntarctik, a crew of six explorers on an expedition to Antarctica, and the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) to test Astroskin, a new "smart shirt" for space developed for the CSA by Carré Technologies.