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Guest: Paula LeClair; Topics: Real time kidney disease testing in space, astronaut training for Healthy.io urinalysis with microgravity dipstick evaluation, in space real time medical testing, and more.
We welcomed Paula LeClair, the U.S. General Manager of Healthy.io to the program to discuss their upcoming ISS real time urinalysis dipstick testing kit for in space detection of kidney disease. First, be sure to get familiar with the Israeli company, Healthy.io through their website, https://healthy.io. In addition, I suggest reading the article about chronic kidney disease and the roll Healthy.io is playing regarding in space detection of kidney disorders. The article I suggest you read can be found at https://blog.healthy.io/company-news/healthy-in-space. Also check out their company introduction information at https://healthy.io/about-us.
Paula was with us for a one hour discussion. We covered the why of what Healthy.io was doing, the need for a real time space urinalysis and albumin detection kit for astronauts while in space, plus the methodology the company used to create the test with multiple dipsticks and a zero g color chart. Paula went into some detail when asked about the need for training the astronauts to do the test which they will be doing on the upcoming Axiom-1 flight schedule for early April this with Israeli commercial astronaut Eytan Stibbe conducting the experimental testing along with other tests planned for the mission.
Our guest received multiple email questions and one phone call which was from Marshall. Marshall's basic question was about the test detecting an in space kidney problem asking if the problem would be reversed back on Earth. Since Paula was talking about albumin in urine, she said the condition was not reversable but was treatable. She expanded her comments on that subject so don't miss what she said. In addition, she was asked if detecting albumin in an astronaut's urine would prevent that astronaut's urine from being recycle for drinking water. She did not know the answer to that but suspected the filtering process would be ok. Another listener asked about the consequences of "failing" the test when on a long duration mission. Did the astronaut need to return home, how did such a detection impact the mission? Paula was not sure but thought that exercise and diet for the astronaut would be adjusted and the mission would continue. A few questions were asked that pertained to private citizens in space, in particular for space settlement along with children in the future. Paula did respond to these questions but as for children, she said most of the kidney problems being tested for did not apply to children short of the child having a specific medical issue such as Lupus.
As we were getting near the end of the program, Paula was asked about the five year plan for Healthy.io, would it stay with developing space testing kids for a variety of health conditions in space and did it see a commercial market for their products in space. Don't miss how Paula responded to these questions. As we were ending, Paula repeated that while the testing kit being discussed was approved in the UK, it was experimental in the US. She told us how to get a free kit through the national kidney organization. Go to www.kidney.org and take the short quiz to see if you qualify for the free kit. Paula described the quiz and the kit on air so here is the quiz: https://www.kidney.org/kidney-quiz/?utm_source=pr&utm_medium=release&utm_campaign=RiskCampaign. There is no verification for your responses so listen to what Paula had to say about getting the free kit. I did the test and qualified so it said my kit was on the way.
Please post your comments/questions for Paula on our blog for this show. You can reach our guest through me or through the Healthy.io website URL provided in this summary of our program.