AI Powered EZResus Wins Deep Space Healthcare Challenge

The Deep Space Healthcare Challenge. Credit: Canadian Space Agency/Impact Canada.

The Deep Space Healthcare Challenge selected EZResus among the five finalists on Wednesday (Feb. 28), securing a $500,000 for the winners in a challenge co-run by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Impact Canada.

The challenge has numerous aims. One is to give Artemis astronauts empowerment in their medical care in deep space destinations. Another is to assist remote communities on Earth that normally must meet up by doctor by teleconference – or fly to more urban centres – to receive advanced medical care.

The announcement, which the teams heard about last month, finished a “nail-biting period” since the final presentations were made to the judges in November 2023, said Frédéric Lemaire, founder of EZResus and CEO of MD Applications.

“For us, this news means everything,” he said. “First, there’s great pride in winning such a prestigious prize while staying a non-profit. It’s a fantastic opportunity to tell our story and show the impact of our resuscitation assistant in saving lives. Space makes us dream big.”

EZResus plans to move forward on the news in two ways. The first is, if possible, to collaborate with CSA to make a useable prototype for use on the International Space Station. “I’m sure there are trillions of things we’ll need to do to get there,” Lemaire joked, “but we will make it happen.”

The second item will be to integrate artificial intelligence into the prototype, with a vision to be somewhat like Jarvis – the helpful robot in the Marvel Comics “Iron Man” franchise. In practical terms, Lemaire said, that means “a resuscitation assistant that takes care of the logistics of resuscitations so humans can focus on what they’re good at – high-level thinking and human connection.”

Lemaire’s team has been working on the proposal for more than two years, as they sent their first entry to the competition in February 2022. EZResus’ technology builds on an older app called EZDrips, which assists doctors with calculating critical medication dosages on the fly.

Deep Space Healthcare Challenge finalist: MD Applications. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

CSA and Impact Canada ran the health challenge, as well as a Deep Space Food Challenge alongside NASA, as part of a suite of projects to support the Artemis program. The CSA-funded Canadarm3, built by MDA, is securing astronauts seats and science for future missions – including Artemis 2 that will have CSA’s Jeremy Hansen on board for the round-the-moon mission in 2025 or so.

CSA is also supporting a lunar rover by Canadensys with science led by Western University, a lunar utility vehicle whose vendor has not been selected yet, and several payloads that will fly to the moon under the NASA Commercial Lunar Payloads Services program. Notably, for example, the recent U.S. Intuitive Machines CLPS landing on the moon included technology from both MDA and Canadensys on board.

Artificial intelligence is also a priority area of the Canadian government, and will be used on Canadarm3 and other Canadian technologies in deep space to allow for better decision-making further from home. Space medicine will face other challenges besides communications challenges, too, including limited supplies available and the fact that evacuations back to Earth would take several days at the least from the moon’s surface or the moon’s orbit. The other tech and finalists in the challenge were an autonomous robotic system from the Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation, autonomous AI software on a smartphone from, an extended reality platform from SieVRt Cardiac and a wearable device from Neursantys.

About Elizabeth Howell

Is SpaceQ's Associate Editor as well as a business and science reporter, researcher and consultant. She recently received her Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota and is communications Instructor instructor at Algonquin College.

Leave a Reply