ESA-funded research has already led to the introduction of many new medical products, worth about €100 (euro) million per year.
Machines known as respired gas analysers offer an easy way to find out the condition of the heart, blood vessels and lungs. The latest models developed by ESA are much smaller, faster, cheaper and easier to use than earlier versions.
Space technology is also being used to help patients with glaucoma, a condition that results in poor eyesight and blindness. Some 70 million people in the Western world suffer from glaucoma.
An instrument known as a self-tonometer is now helping to combat the disease. Known as Ocuton-S, it will enable many people to monitor their own eye pressure and decide when they need medication.
Experiments on astronauts have led to the development of a special Eye Tracker. This is used in eye clinics for high precision operations, for example on children with a squint. It also has possible uses in fields such as brain research and psychology.
The Sterilite system to kill germs was first developed for biological research in space. The system, which involves flushing with ozone gas, is now used in hospitals and laboratories.