The "patient couch" consists of seven segments that support the body's basic pressure points. The concept is adapted from seating inside NASA's X-38 Crew Return Vehicle, designed to minimize debilitation caused by prolonged sitting.
The bed's seven plates assume a variety of configurations ranging from seated upright and wheelchair position to supine. The bed usese a sophisticated servoelectric mechanism and a drivetrain processor to adjust positions and transport the patient. Additionally it accommodates individuals ranging from young children to extra-large adults.
The Patient Infotainment Control System (PICS) - a centralized device to control the bed configuration, lighting, temperature, TV, telephone and Web access - is mounted on an extendable arm and can also be used by the caregiver to view charts and make notations in real time.
All materials are nontoxic and approved for spaceflight and, unlike the PVCs and resins found in most medical products, don't off-gas. Consequently the patient bed is a haven of neutral air, an important consideration for pulmonary patients.