Space and Global Health

United Nations - Vienna International Centre - 48°14′05″N 16°25′01″E / 48.23472°N 16.41694°E - OpenStreetMap

SDG3: Good Health and Well-being - Learning Resouce supports the SDG-Tagging - [1]
SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities - Learning Resource supports the SDGs - UN-Guidelines[2]
Link between Health Challenges and Poverty - SDG1: No Poverty - Learning Resouce supports the SDGs - UN-Guidelines[3]

This learning resource aims to introduce you to the link between space technology and Global Health. The following questions will be answered.

Collaborative Work on Global Challenges


These resources explores the support of collaborative work in Wikiversity:

Target Group for Learning Resource


The capacity building resource is designed for a target group of stakeholders and innovators in the health domain to identify options of application of space technology in the health domain. The learning resources are open to teachers and learners at the interface between space technology and the health domain. Use the "Discuss" page to encourage modification or restructuring the page. This learning resource is for the community of practice and is open to translation into other language.

Licencing and Mandate


(Licencing and Mandate) All activities of the United Nations need a mandate from the member states. This learning resource is not an official learning resource of UNOOSA or WHO. This is a shared learning resource for which a collaborative management of content is open for all actors in the space and global health domain. Please read Licencing and Mandate before editing the resource. In any case an open collaborative format without an official mandate of all member states of United Nations needs to respect a Neutral Point Of View . If you want to read about official publications of member states please go to UNOOSA website. Working Group Members of the working group for Global Health are encouraged to change, reorganised and add content. An even beyond researcher, developers or NGOs using space technology in the health domain are welcome to add case studies, so that the community is able to connect.



Application of Space Technology in the Health Domain

  • Remote Sensing - detection of environmental parameters
    • Heat health risk assessment using remotely-sensed surface temperature data[4]
    • Respiratory diseases and pollution
  • Satellite communication for provision of tele-health services (telemedicine)
  • Navigation and geolocation by navigation to health resources or provision of health-related information tailored for the geolocation of the mobile device user
  • Space Medicine
  • Regulatory and legal aspect create a framework for medical and business application in the health domain.
  • Health related data needs the consideration of privacy aspects for processing the data,
  • Warning will be issued by institution, organizations, ministries or agencies with the mandate to do it. It is important to have a regulatory framework that assures that digital data is unchanged e.g. by Digital Signature or Blockchain.
  • Telemedicine and Disaster Medicine for remote medical support in remote areas or in cases when IT-infrastructure is broken.
  • Low-Cost Precision Farming - Create an economic benefit by less application of agrochemicals (primary driver for innovation), reduce exposure to agrochemicals to workers in settings of labor intensive, manual farming. Create a benefit for public and environmental health (includes improved Risk Literacy and optimization of work flows in farming).
  • Medical Experiments in Lab-on-a-chip performed at the International Space Station (ISS)
  • Space for Health - Link the Space and Health Domain
  • If astronauts are on a space station, classical health service delivery cannot be applied because the patients cannot be transported to health care facility with an acceptable response time. Telemedicine used e.g. for monitoring the medical condition of the astronaut can be transferred to ground based application of telemedicine on earth especially in remote areas.



Open Data


Requirements, Constraints for Space and Global Health

  • Create a Questionnaire in 6 official languages and translation is required for different member states. Which is appropriate approach for gathering information
  • Feedback Loops and Requirements and Constraints Analysis

Open Capacity Building


Learning Task


This learning tasks are about Capacity Building and Learning itself and should support the institutional collaborative innovation for Risk Management approaches.

  • (Open Educational Resources) Explain why an Open Platform for Open Educational Resources is important for user-driven innovation! Apply this setting on link between Space and Global Health.
  • Describe the international benefits for members states, if a successful case-study for the application of risk mitigation strategies in Wikiversity can be transfered to other member states!
  • (Capacity Building WHO) Explore the capacity building and learning resource Clean Care Safer Care[6]. Explore the key elements of this learning resource, especially
    • where do you find the scientific evidence for the risk mitigation approach,
    • How do staff members and administration in health care facility are supported to implement a cleaner and safer care?
    • Health care facilities are differently equipped with human, technical and medical resources. Furthermore staff members in health care facilities speak only a local language. Explore how the concept of inner-organisational quality assurance at WHO and user-driven adaption of learning resource to local and regional requirements and constraints refer to the concept of Public-Private-Versioning of learning resources in Wikiversity?
    • Assume WHO analyses the user-driven development of learning and capacity building resources Wikiversity. How could this analysis contributed to next release of the inner-organisational quality assured releases of learning resouces like Clean Care Safer Care?
    • Explain in general how case-studies in Wikiversity can be a learning resource?
  • (Use-Cases Space and Global Health) If many use-cases in Wikiversity are available as capacity building and learning environment in Wikiversity, generic principle and general problems can be identified. The analysis of the problems could lead to conclusions that e.g. public safety and desertification are the key problem for the successful sustainable development in the Global Health domain. Identify UN bodies/entities that are responsible for the scope "public safety" and "desertification".
    • analyze the mandate of the selected bodies and how they could contribute to problem solving,
    • describe, how are NGOs would be affected in their work if public safety cannot be guaranteed,
    • "we learn for errors not from sucess"[7][8]. Explain how failure analysis of privious approaches and self-assessment lead to improvements and innovation in the community of practice and in an interagency collaboration. In an Open Community Approach the self-assessment framework could be supported by questionnaires implemented within Wikiversity by the Community of Practice. Analyze the content management infrastructure in Wikiversity to create a questionnaire and use the following Wikiversity page as a sandbox to define a simple self-assessment.
  • (Precision Global Health) Compare the concepts of Precision Global Health and Precision Agriculture. What do these concepts have in comment and what are the differences? Precision Agriculture aims to reduce the application of agrochemical in a dose tailored to the geolocation, to keep the harvest yield and minimize the amount of used agrochemicals. Environmental health and public health is linked in many ways. Identify those links and derive a way forward for optimized support for decision making! Find scientific evidence for you approach!
  • (Eliminating Poverty) Explain how elimination of poverty is related to the Global Health challenges.

Technical Learning Task

  • Technical Approach - Opportunities and Limitations: Explore the technical side of Satellite technology to learn about the opportunities and limitations!
  • Technical Processing of Satellite Images: Explore the availability of satellite images and match satellite resources to areas of application! (e.g. LandSat, Sentinell Programme, ...)
  • Identify those application of satellite technology, that is accesible for developing a Global Health service directly or indirectly as service! Can you describe the obstacles of application? (e.g. financial resource to access a benefit, awarness about benefits, complexity of application in (public) health environment).
  • Resource Management: The management of resources is relevant for covering demands for health related services and/or allocation of risk mitigation resources. How could use accessmod represent the access to health care facilities?

Learning Task for Capacity Building and Teachers

  • (Space Tech as "one tool among others") Is it necessary that an expert needs to dive into technical details of band-width and orbits provided by learning resources about satellite technology. Explore and design a learning path that helps people working in the domain of epidemiology to use space technology as "one tool among others" to address Global Health challenges, e.g.
    • vector control for mosquitos and spatial patterns of application for risk mitigation activities,
    • respiratory diseases and remote sensing to detect air pollution. Define options of the public health agency if they get a spatio-temporal map of exposition to polluted air.
    • (One Health) detect a red algae bloom with remote sensing and explain how the risk maps show an exposure to toxicants at the cost line or impact on fishery or life below water (see One Health)
  • Learning Environments for the sharing developmental idea of Real-World Lab at a small river for learning chemical, biological, physical or geographical topics. Learner interact with the environment and learn curricular topics in school related to environment (see Augmented Reality). Exposure to chemicals and toxicants in the environment (anthropogenic
  • (Regulations / Legal Perspective) Explore the legal framework in France for using telemedicine (France Telemedicine Act (Source: Law in French) explain why a regulatory and legal framework is important for member states (e.g. for privacy of data, ...).
  • (Last Mile Problem) Explore the "last mile problem" and explain how this challenge is related to Global Health and vulnerable communities.
  • (Eliminating Poverty) Explain how eliminating poverty is linked to global health challenges.
  • (Collaboration) Global challenges need global collaboration. Compare climate change approaches of collaboration with collaborative efforts in the health domain (e.g. Humanitarian Open Streetmap). What are similarities and difference for the collaborative approaches and how can Space Technology support measuring and implementation of collaborative approaches (e.g. Collaborative Mapping and Remote Sensing, support technological innovation, advanced in telemedicine)

Policy Level


See also





  1. SDG3 in UN-Guidelines for Use of SDG logo and the 17 SDG icons (2019/05/10) -
  2. SDG11 in UN-Guidelines for Use of SDG logo and the 17 SDG icons (2019/05/10) -
  3. Link between Health Challenges and Poverty - SDG1 in UN-Guidelines for Use of SDG logo and the 17 SDG icons (2019/05/10) -
  4. Estoque, Ronald C.; Ooba, Makoto; Seposo, Xerxes T.; Togawa, Takuya; Hijioka, Yasuaki; Takahashi, Kiyoshi; Nakamura, Shogo (2020-03-27). "Heat health risk assessment in Philippine cities using remotely sensed data and social-ecological indicators". Nature Communications 11 (1): 1581. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-15218-8. ISSN 2041-1723. 
  5. Global Health at the Human-Animal-Ecosystem Interface, Environment Coursera, (2017), created by University of Geneva, André Ravel, Antoine Flahault, Arnaud Fontanet, Isabelle Bolon, Rafael Ruiz De Castaneda,, accessed 2019/02/14
  6. Pittet, D., & Donaldson, L. (2005). Clean Care is Safer Care: a worldwide priority. Lancet, 366(9493), 1246-1247.
  7. Schein, E. H. (1993). SMR forum: How can organizations learn faster? The challenge of entering the green room. Sloan management review, 34(2), 85.
  8. Cannon, M. D., & Edmondson, A. C. (2005). Failing to learn and learning to fail (intelligently): How great organizations put failure to work to innovate and improve. Long range planning, 38(3), 299-319.