What do you do if you're an injured astronaut and your doctor absolutely refuses to make Mars calls?
Well, the European Space Agency is trying to address that question. The ESA is testing a wearable augmented-reality device that might one day enable astronauts who aren't doctors to perform surgery on ailing colleagues.
Astronauts haven't whipped out the scalpels just yet--the device is currently being tested as a tool for ultrasound examinations that let users look patients over and diagnose a medical condition. But the agency said in a recent post to its Web site that "in principle [it] could guide other procedures."
In a nutshell, the device--the Computer Assisted Medical Diagnosis and Surgery System, or Camdass--works as follows. While moving an ultrasound probe along the patient, the user wears a headset that displays a 3D image of healthy tissue along with the ultrasound images of the patient.
The device, according to the ESA, "precisely [combines] computer-generated graphics with the wearer's view." Hence, differences--and problems--can be spotted.… Read more