At the dawn of the 21st Century, the concept of integrating telecommunications, information systems and medical databases has become the foundation of the way medicine will be practiced and taught. The terms telemedicine, telehealth, and medical informatics as well as others are often interchangeable. MITAC considers medical informatics as a term that encompasses telemedicine, telehealth, telementoring, etc. As a commercial space center for NASA, MITAC utilizes testbeds for evaluating technology and helps shepherd these into human space flight, as well as bring technologies to the market place.

International testbeds offer a wide variety of opportunities for understanding the cultural diversity of the practice of medicine as well as evaluating models in remote environments. The constraints of telemedicine in remote environments, characterized by limited communications, are similar to those of human space exploration in the foreseeable future.

The MITAC is working with NASA in developing a strategic direction for space flight as well as other agency initiatives. The MITAC brings together a knowledgeable team of medical, technical, and policy personnel to enhance the concepts of medical informatics, telemedicine, and telehealth as it can be applied throughout the world. MITAC has a strong relationship with NASA Johnson Space Center to explore requirements that will integrate medical informatics into the infrastructure for the delivery of medical care in space flight.

MITAC is developing unique tools for broad application in clinical consultation, education, and evidence-based medicine. Through partnerships with industry and academia, MITAC is exploring technologies in sensors, transmitters, effectors and process simulation or STEPS.


TOLD is a web-based tool that serves as an electronic medical record, an interactive tool for education and distance learning, and as a clinical consultation platform. Originally developed as a graphical user interface to support the Spacebridge to Russia, TOLD is a highly versatile tool that can be integrated into any system easily.


The ability to respond rapidly in the aftermath of a natural disaster or other event that impacts a region's medical infrastructure is key to addressing medical and public health issues. MITAC has developed a rapidly deployable telemedicine system that utilizes a wide variety of communications modalities. Such a system can be easily integrated with a disaster response team and support medical consultations between a disaster area and experts located within the region or at another site.


MITAC has developed a number of unique tools and concepts. MITAC has established a relationship with the Virginia Biotechnology Park, which serves as an incubator for fostering commercial endeavors and will assist the MITAC with commercial development from bench to market.


Monitoring patients after they have been released from the hospital, or otherwise require monitoring, is a key area of interest of the MITAC. Wireless monitoring, sensors, and smart systems can enhance our ability to monitor patients from their homes.
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Copyright 2000 MedITAC
October 19, 2003