Space Explored

SpaceX Inspiration4 will use Apple Watch and iPad for health research study in space

By Zac Hall

September 4, 2021

SpaceX is flying four private citizens to orbit on a three-day mission called Inspiration4, and Apple hardware will be key in a first-of-its-kind research study happening during the flight

Image: Inspiration4 / SpaceX

These products include Apple Watch Series 6, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPad mini 4, as selected by SpaceX.

Mission Commander Jared Isaacman, Mission Pilot Dr. Sian Proctor, Medical Officer Hayley Arceneaux, and Mission Specialist Chris Sembroski will each participate in health research studies while in space.

Image: Inspiration4

The effort is a collaboration between SpaceX, the NASA-sponsored Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine, and investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Image: NASA

“It’s a pretty Apple-heavy set of projects,” says Jimmy Wu, senior biomedical engineer at TRISH and instructor for the Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, “which is really great because the product speaks for itself.”

Each Inspiration4 crew member will wear an Apple Watch Series 6 to collect “research-grade ECG activity, movement, sleep, heart rate and rhythm, blood oxygen saturation, [and] cabin noise” data. The Dragon capsule will also capture data on light intensity during the mission.

These results are gathered during the mission as each crew member performs a series of tests using a Cognition app running on iPad mini 4 tablets.

Crew members will also use iPhone 12 Pro as the data acquisition platform and screen for viewing images from an AI-guided organ scanning system called Butterfly IQ+. This ultrasound tool is designed for non-medical experts to use.

The upcoming Inspiration4 mission is set to launch on September 14 from the historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida ontop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Image: Jared Locke / Space Explored