Telemedicine in remote environments
“DAN AVATAR Project” was born to guarantee an innovative way to deal with underwater medical assistance even in remote areas by providing the medical staff of DAN Europe’s operations center with access to dive data and physiological data of subjects requiring medical assistance IN REAL TIME even in remote areas. Soon the project was extended to other activities carried out in remote environments such as trekking in high mountains or other conditions of isolation (such as emergencies from toxic or infectious agents) that require in-depth monitoring of cardiac and respiratory functions of the subjects.
DAN AVATAR is based on three pillars to ensure monitoring and ‘assistance in remote areas, the first pillar consists of the tools that, in the periphery, are able to acquire the physiological and environmental information necessary to ensure the service. The main elements are wearable tools (sensorized T-shirts) integrated with some devices able to record data of the environment in which the subject is (for example the Dive Sense to collect data during the dive). The first pillar also consists of an APP for smartphones that allows the collection, visualization and transmission of the collected data, the APP is also integrated with functions supported by virtual and augmented reality systems that allow to establish an advanced contact with the medical team in case of need.
The second pillar is constituted by an automatic data collection central unit able to manage the simultaneous arrival of large amounts of data (including their storage), and perform an initial analysis process to identify potentially dangerous situations.
Finally, the third pillar is represented by the intelligent emergency control centre that integrates the information received from pillar 2 with a 24/7 medical team and is able to guarantee advanced remote medical support and the eventual evacuation of the patient.
“DAN AVATAR Undersea” introduces an innovative way to manage diving incidents even in remote areas, providing the DAN Europe operations center with essential information to ensure a thorough diagnosis, to reduce the time and cost of intervention and thus to provide a much more personalized assistance service.
“DAN AVATAR Undersea” makes available in real time the dive profile and the physiological data of the patient, crosses these parameters with the database of DAN Europe Foundation and thanks to algorithms developed in years of experience elaborates the best response in real time case by case.
The strong point of the project is the comparison between the data received in real time and the data in the database relating both to the subject in difficulty and to other similar cases occurred in the past, thus providing a personalized and in-depth analysis useful for the emergency doctor to formulate a diagnosis and a dedicated therapy and to order the relevant actions to be taken. The main objective is a correct diagnosis and the identification of the most suitable and close structure for the treatment of the victim.
DAN AVATAR Undersea” in its most advanced versions also allows the transmission of data in Real Time during the dive with the possibility of sending emergency signals directly during the underwater stay and receiving feedback in real time from the DAN Emergency Centre.
How DAN AVATAR Undersea is organised:
- Geo localisation
- Transmission of dive profile data in real time
- Transmission of physiological data in real time (electro cardiogram, respiratory rate, body position)
- Algorithms based on the data received able to help the doctor receiving the emergency in the diagnosis.
- Real Time decompression risk analysis
- 24/7 control centre coordination
The DAN-AVATAR in high altitude section proposes the application of the DAN-AVATAR model for the management of accidents occurring on ski slopes or during trekking in mountain areas. The data can be shared with the medical service (118) and with the DAN Europe R&I intelligent emergency centre (if necessary for international coordination) so that the physiological data of the injured person is available in real time and the best possible treatment and evacuation can be organised. The monitoring system guarantees the same parameters common to all DAN-Avatar projects: (ECG), respiratory rate, body temperature, oxygen saturation and geolocation in a non-invasive way.
The subject can already be fitted with the sensorised T-shirts and use their physiological data to track their movements, optimise their training or simply share their experiences on social networks, in which case in an emergency the data will be immediately available to the medical team. Or it can be easily applied by rescue teams, or by expedition mountain guides) in case of need by applying a simple band equipped with the necessary sensors to collect data and transmit them for a “second opinion” from the emergency centre. It is NOT necessary to undress the victim in order to apply the sensors.
The DAN AVATAR project approach can also be applied in chronic diseases that require continuous monitoring of the patient at home because the disease allows a relatively normal life and does not require hospitalisation.
There are many fields of application.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS)
characterised by repeated episodes of interrupted breathing during the night with serious consequences on both the patient’s general health and quality of life during the day.
Thanks to the use of the wearable instruments provided by the DAN-AVATAR project (common T-shirts) containing non-invasive sensors, the patient can be monitored throughout the night without any discomfort. The recorded data (electrocardiogram, respiratory rate, blood saturation, body position) are sent in real time to an automatic data collection centre that provides detailed feedback on the patient’s sleep pattern and is able to intercept suspected episodes of sleep apnoea.
The data can be accessed every morning on a dedicated smartphone application for self-monitoring by the patient, but at the same time they are analysed by an artificial intelligence system which, in the event of changes to the patient’s normal parameters, immediately communicates them to the relevant doctors so that they can establish contact, possibly book new examinations, assess the need to perform a new polysomnogram (the gold standard examination in this pathology) and possibly modify the treatment strategy. (see also The OSAS-head surgery institute project)
Symptoms of COVID-19
The AVATAR project can also be used in this dramatically topical condition or in other similar conditions in which the relocation of the patient from the medical team is recommended. By applying the devices on patients, we can guarantee in-depth monitoring and control of the patients without any direct contact, intervening only when vital parameters degenerate.
The system can also be used in in-patients who have passed the critical phase of their illness and are waiting for their health conditions to stabilise before they are discharged and quarantine begins at home.