In conventional practice, medical systems requirements for human spaceflight are considered towards the end of the project’s space systems engineering phases, leaving little room for the integral medical requirement codification within spacecraft design parameters (NASA ExMC, 2021). As mission character increases in length and remoteness, the level of care and required medical capabilities increase dramatically, stressing the need for human-centered focus (Lyons, 2018). The longer and more remote the mission, the greater the need for human-centeredness. This can be achieved by incorporating a human-centric approach from the early stages of defining key mission architecture parameters and constraints of mission and vehicle/habitat planning. “[Human] spaceflight has reached a critical moment where the transition to a human-centric mission architecture must become a reality if exploration missions are to succeed” (Antonsen, 2017).
The Exploration Medical Ecosystem Design Infrastructure (ExMEDI) is a Cyber-Physical-Human (CPH) medical ecosystem that will support the health, medical autonomy, and decision-making of crews during future space missions. ExMEDI will facilitate (A) specification of medical capabilities required for specific future spaceflight contexts, and integrate (B) in-flight onboard support of crew’s health during the mission.
Gateway and Artemis human lunar exploration system for crew health and performance would benefit greatly from the ExMEDI system. Other human deep space exploration endeavors in the future including asteroids and Mars would also find this system useful.
There is a huge increase in commercial human space exploration which will need autonomous on-board medical systems such as ExMEDI in both LEO and deep space. As well this type of autonomous medical assistance technology will be useful for isolated terrestrial human platforms such as Antarctica, oil and natural resource platforms, undersea exploration and military deployments.