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Medical Consumables Tracking -GRC (Medical_Tracking)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Operational and clinical research
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Species: Not applicable

This task will identify current practices and develop controls, processes, and technical solutions to accurately track the inventory of medical consumables. When shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) medical kits are returned to Earth, fewer medical consumables remain in the medical kits than would be expected based on reported use by the astronauts. This is significant because the possibility exists that exploration missions could be undersupplied and run the risk of not being able to treat an ill or injured crewmember, particularly given the small volume available for the medical kits. This task will identify current practices and develop controls, processes, and technical solutions to accurately track the inventory of medical consumables.

The Medical Consumables Tracking system will utilize an electronic identification system comprised of a reader/scanner/interrogator and a transponder. The system will address insufficient tracking of medication and medical consumables usage on the ISS. An electronic tag will be placed on each package. Periodically the system will be powered and contents within the Resupply/Stowage Rack (RSR) storage locker will be inventoried. The information in the MCT database will be downlinked to the Health Management System (HMS) Inventory Tracking Tool (HITT), which contains medical inventory information to be accessed on the ground.

Specific aims:
1. Track medical consumables and medications accessed with an accuracy of 95% or better
2. No additional scheduled crew time to access a medication or medical consumable
3. Work in a microgravity environment
4. Work in space vehicles that have electronically noisy environments
5. Encrypted data transfer
6. To know how much of a particular medication is available
7. Read the electronic ID tagged items inside of Convenience Medications Pack
8. Have the ability to scale; to track small quantities or large quantities of medicines and medical consumables

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Technology assessment

Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in progress. Data is not yet available for this experiment.

Medical consumables tracking
Medication tracking

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 45 09/11/2015 12/11/2015 91 days
Expedition 46 12/11/2015 03/02/2016 82 days
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

The Human Research Roadmap is located at:

+ Click here for information of how this experiment is contributing to the HRP's path for risk reduction.

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Eric Gallagher
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name