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NASA uses SA-made invention to conduct hearing tests on astronauts in space

13 April 2021 3:25 PM
Tags:
NASA
SPACE
medical invention
KUDUWave
audiometer
hearing test
Dr Dirk Koekemoer

Dr. Dirk Koekemoer is the brains behind a portable audiometer that is being used aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Space agency NASA is using a piece of South African technology to test astronauts’ hearing in space.

The audiology system, known as the KUDUWave, was invented by local medical doctor and software developer Dr. Dirk Koekemoer.

The KUDUWave was successfully launched into space in February to help NASA study the biological effects of noise in space and aboard the International Space Station.

The device is designed to be portable and lightweight, combining the headset, audiometer, and soundbooth in a single machine.

Dr. Koekemoer says the device was created to help reach more patients in under-resourced communities where audiology healthcare services are lacking.

His company eMoyo Technologies made some small modifications to the KUDUwave audiometer to ensure that it was ready for space.

Dr. Koekemoer says he has always had a passion for biomedical engineering - so much so that he left his clinical practice to found eMoyo, a biomedical engineering company, two decades ago.

It wasn't until seven years ago that he first started selling the KUDUWave invention, Koekemoer tells CapeTalk.

The KUDUwave is a machine to test your hearing... It's a full-blown diagnostic system.

 Dr Dirk Koekemoer, Founder and Head of Innovation - eMoyo Technologies

It's the size of a large headset that you put on your head so you don't need a sound booth... It's got multiple machines all built into this single, little portable headset that you can travel with.

 Dr Dirk Koekemoer, Founder and Head of Innovation - eMoyo Technologies

You can go to a patient in a hospital or travel to a village in Swaziland to test patients... You can take audiology healthcare services into the field.

 Dr Dirk Koekemoer, Founder and Head of Innovation - eMoyo Technologies

About three years ago, NASA contacted us, we were on the shortlist about two years ago and a year ago they selected us to take the KUDUwave up to the Space Station to diagnose the problems there.

 Dr Dirk Koekemoer, Founder and Head of Innovation - eMoyo Technologies

If this machine can work in the Space Station, it can work anywhere and go anywhere.

 Dr Dirk Koekemoer, Founder and Head of Innovation - eMoyo Technologies

When I started this company it was not an easy road to walk because it takes long to get to the point where you have devices and software out that can have an impact.

 Dr Dirk Koekemoer, Founder and Head of Innovation - eMoyo Technologies

At a young age, I was imagining how can help make people hear again and see again using sensors that are implanted onto the brain. It was always my dream... I've always been into biomedical engineering since I can remember.

 Dr Dirk Koekemoer, Founder and Head of Innovation - eMoyo Technologies

Listen to the fascinating story on Lunch with Pippa Hudson:




13 April 2021 3:25 PM
Tags:
NASA
SPACE
medical invention
KUDUWave
audiometer
hearing test
Dr Dirk Koekemoer

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