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July 24, 1967

Clinical Application of Space Medicine Technology

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Preventive Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus. Dr. Schwichtenberg is a brigadier general, retired, of the US Air Force.

JAMA. 1967;201(4):247-250. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130040043011

Our spacecraft have, through necessity, reached levels of complexity beyond anything known previously or even imagined possible as recently as ten years ago. These levels have been achieved by remarkable reductions in weight, size, and power requirements while achieving phenomenal levels of reliability. This communication is concerned with the contributions which space technology is making to clinical medicine and related medical and life sciences.

For several years to come, our national space programs will be in the learning phase wherein the needs and responses of man in the highly stressful and extremely hostile environment of space must be explored step by step. Such a project can be effectively and economically accomplished only by the closest possible integration of a vast multidisciplinary effort, which will present the most difficult interdisciplinary communication problem. The development of techniques to solve this communication problem will, in my opinion, prove to be the single most