Divers’ Alert Network (DAN) Europe and Azoth Systems – an engineering and service company specializing in hyperbaric exposure safety – have signed a memorandum of understanding for a new collaboration focusing on data collection in the field of recreational diving.
The partnership would allow DAN to collect information from Azoth’s O’Dive ‘custom decompression system’, which combines data retrieved from a dive computer with information from a sensor that the diver uses to measure the presence of microbubbles in their bloodstream post-dive. The combination allows divers to calculate their own decompression data through the use of Azoth’s O’Dive app, which will give the diver tailor-made information for repetitive dives, surface intervals and no-fly-time based on their own personal exposure, rather than the generalised decompression models present in dive computer hardware.
Microbubbles are present in all divers after every dive and, within safe diving limits, are generally harmless. They are, however, widely considered to be the singularly most important cause of Decompression Illness (DCI), with specific regards to decompression sickness (DCS) – ‘the bends’.
Our understanding of the mechanisms behind DCI has progressed significantly in recent years. The dive community has moved away from ‘too deep; too long; too rapid an ascent’ to much more specific information regarding personal physiology, as well as dive profile information. Despite progress in the science, however, data availability remains limited to a relatively small number of studies, due to the simple logistical difficulties of regularly measuring the growing cohorts of scuba divers worldwide.
As one of the leading organisations driving the science behind hyperbaric medicine, DAN Europe can offer a huge amount of expertise aquired over several decades – both in terms of their well-practised field experience of data collection through scientists and volunteer divers, and their scientific understanding of decompression risk assessment.
‘The O’Dive technology developed by Azoth Systems will allow to continue and increase the efficiency of the work undertaken by pooling mutual expertise,’ said Professor Alessandro Marroni, President and Founder of DAN Europe. ‘Sharing resources with Azoth Systems is in line with DAN Europe’s mission of promoting diving safety. The collaboration agreement is the beginning of a long-term work that includes sharing information about the existing databases, and their mutual enrichment.’
‘This partnership with DAN Europe relies on a shared knowledge but is also a step in bringing our technology forward for divers’ safety,’ said Axel Barbaud, CEO and Founder of Azoth Systems. ‘Thanks to O’Dive, divers can control and improve their diving procedures based on the micro-bubbles detected in their venous system after the dive and customised simulations calculated from their dives profiles. Beyond the research, building this collaboration with DAN Europe is also a way to increase our visibility and to further this human and technological adventure with a valuable and highly experienced partner.’
For more information on DAN Europe and its collection of hyerpbaric medical studies, visit www.daneurope.org. For more information on the Azoth O’Dive system, or to purchase a sensor, visit www.o-dive.com