Physiological monitoring during multi-day Norwegian ski patrols in the Arctic
In the Arctic Circle, a multi-day ski patrol has attracted the attention of human research scientists to conduct a study into the physiological responses of the freezing temperatures. The Equivital LifeMonitor was used to watch the vital signs of these patrollers while they crossed the sub-zero environments.
This study was conducted by researchers from a range of backgrounds. Hilde K. Teien, John W. Castellani, Svein Martini, and Stefan M. Pasiakos worked to publish the study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
“Hand and finger cooling can lead to loss of basic skills that are critical for soldiers in training and battle in Arctic environments. Furthermore, decreases in core body temperature will also impact performance and health. Physiological monitoring during metabolically demanding multi-day military operations in extreme cold-weather environments can identify those individuals at greater risk of cold injury and provide insight into their performance capabilities.”
The purpose of the study was to use physiological monitoring in an Arctic environment and, characterize the cardiovascular and thermal responses during the patrol. Two studies were completed with Norwegian soldiers across a period of 3 – 4 days who were undergoing long ski patrols.
The Equivital LifeMonitor measured clinical grade cardiorespiratory, temperature and activity data. In the case of this study, the LifeMonitor measured heart rate, chest skin temperature, and core temperature. The sensors record and intelligently processes data measured from the person and is able to transmit this over a wireless or wired interface.
The EQ02+ LifeMonitor has two components. The Sensor Electronics Module (SEM) and the Sensor Belt. The sensor belt positions the SEM on the left side of the chest to monitor skin temperature under the arm. However for this study, a different kind of device was used, the LifeMonitor can be paired with the VitalSense Core Temperature Capsule. A small pill that once ingested can send accurate and consistent core temperature data to the SEM in real time, allowing for more accurate readings across the study.
The study found some interesting insights into the physiological demands of multi-day ski patrols, while the amount of demand on the body wasn’t concerning the benefits of additional equipment for the patrollers was found to be beneficial to avoid cold injury. These kinds of studies are fantastic for pushing the boundaries of human physiology, and with the assistance of Equivital devices, we can increase the safety and efficiency of those that go into these harsh environments.
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Link to the paper: https://www.jsams.org/article/S1440-2440(17)31546-3/fulltext