NASA Tech Could Replace Passwords with Your Heartbeat

LuckyStep/Shutterstock.com

The space agency announced several health and biotech technology transfer opportunities.

NASA produces cutting-edge products and solutions for space exploration that often have untapped applications here on Earth. Through its Technology Transfer Program, businesses can license NASA-developed technologies and from them create and manufacture innovative commercially relevant uses for public benefit.

The space agency on Monday launched several new technology transfer opportunities for potential applications related to health, medicine and biotechnology. 

HeartbeatID

Fingerprints and retinal and face scans are commonly-used biometric means to authenticate and verify that people are who they say they are. According to NASA, “the heartbeat system is a new biometric technique to verify someone's identity.” 

In the HeartbeatID solicitation, agency officials said the movement of cardiac muscles and signals sent within human hearts “can be used in everything from replacing individuals’ PC passwords to [accessing] a bank account,” and they also listed a range of other applications, particularly in the realm of personal, internet and national security. Essentially, the nascent technology provides a means to use the human heart’s electrical actions as biometric distinguishers. 

NASA notes that this specific technology transfer opportunity is patent only, and there’s no software available for license, but those who are interested in licensing the technology to develop more commercial uses can submit an application through its online portal for approval. 

PUMA

Through its Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis, or PUMA tech transfer opportunity, entities can tap into battery-powered, wearable devices created at NASA’s Glenn Research Center that provide “highly precise real-time measurements of human metabolic functions,” such as users’ oxygen intake, heart rate, temperature and beyond. According to the agency, PUMA “represents a major breakthrough in portable metabolic analysis.” 

The durable, compact units wirelessly relay information they capture to laptop computers for instant analysis and they are particularly well-suited to detect oxygen deficiencies and drops almost as soon as they occur. The devices can also be used in extreme environments, NASA said, including underground, underwater, and in aviation. Individuals who aim to license PUMA and market or help advance its uses not just for astronauts, but for miners, pilots, firefighters, divers, climbers, patients, athletes and more may also submit an application online. 

Subcutaneous Structure Imager

The agency’s Glenn Research Center also developed a novel system—a subcutaneous, or below-the-skin, structure imager—that can be used to locate veins “in challenging patient populations, such as juvenile, elderly, dark-skinned, or obese patients.” The system offers users the ability to conveniently access clear visualizations of veins or other vascular structures. 

In terms of commercial applications, NASA officials said “compared to other state-of-the-art solutions, the imager is inexpensive, compact, and very portable, so it can be used in remote third-world areas, emergency response situations, or military battlefields.” Those interested in putting it to use may submit an online application. 

Other health-focused technology transfer opportunities that the space agency launched Monday include biochemical sensors that may be used in clinical diagnostics and a reproducible, cost-effective technology and process for creating 2D and 3D human tissue formations that NASA believes have uses across pharmaceutical development and regenerative medicine.

Licensing applications for each of the opportunities are due by Feb. 21, 2021. 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.