Section: News

Valley Presbyterian Celebrates Being a Pioneeer in Early Adoption of Patient-Monitoring Technology Used in Space Exploration

Posted on 10/15/2018

VAN NUYS, Calif. – As moviegoers prepare to watch Ryan Gosling venture out into the infinite darkness and walk on the moon’s surface in the new Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, Valley Presbyterian Hospital is celebrating being a pioneer in its own right, as the first hospital to be outfitted with telemetry patient-monitoring systems — the same technology used in space. Back in 1966, Spacelabs, Inc., the innovators behind the medical technology used on some of NASA’s most historic missions, introduced the technology to civilians at Valley Presbyterian Hospital.

The out-of-this-world medical telemetry was developed in the early 1960s, and allowed a person’s vital signs to be captured and sent to a device to display in waveform. NASA used this technology when it successfully landed Neil Armstrong on the moon on July 16, 1969. That same monitoring equipment worn by Armstrong now sits in the Smithsonian as a coveted piece of U.S. history.

“The ties between space exploration and medical breakthroughs are truly fascinating,” said Gus Valdespino, President and Chief Executive Officer at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys. “As a hospital that has served the community for over 60 years, we are proud to be part of such a rich history – even a part of U.S. history.”

Since the first civilian introduction of real-time telemetry monitoring at Valley Presbyterian Hospital, the same technology that monitored Neil Armstrong’s vitals has been used in hospitals across the country. Today, Valley Presbyterian Hospital has 60 beds dedicated to patients who are often in critical condition and need constant monitoring and care. The specialized nursing teams on these units rely on this monitoring to track a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and other vitals, with the ability to monitor patients throughout the hospital.

Though it seems like light-years since this technology was adopted, Valley Presbyterian, like many other hospitals, continues to rely on its role in patient care and improved well-being.


Valley Presbyterian Hospital (VPH) is an independent, nonprofit and nonsectarian hospital serving the medical needs of the San Fernando Valley community for more than 50 years. VPH has grown to become one of the largest acute-care hospitals in the region and continues to provide patient-centered care for a healthy community. The 350-bed facility offers advanced technology and a full range of medical services to improve and save lives.

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