MARES-DAN COOPERATION

May 10th, 2011

Mares: 100% compatible with DAN DL7

With the new Dive Organizer Software release, 100% logbook compatibility with the DAN database DL7 is now available.

Mares has been implementing Dive Organizer for ICON HD, NEMO WIDE, NEMO AIR and PUCK with a new application that makes it compatible with the database used by DAN for their research on decompression sickness.
How does it work? Every diver will be able to create what we call a “DAN EVENT”. Here the diver will need to fill some important data about the dives he wants to share with DAN.

There are three types of information required:
- information about the dive site itself;
- personal information about the diver;
- information about the group of dives that belong to this “DAN Event”.

Once the diver enters all the information, it’s just a matter of a click and the file will be sent directly to DAN and will be implemented in the database used for statistics and research.
This is a very important step that includes direct cooperation between the diving industry and researchers, with the goal of improving divers’ safety. This allows the DAN research field to enlarge its sample to all divers using Mares computers supporting the Dive Organizer.
Everyone then becomes a potential “star” and each diver can make his or her own contribution in a very simple way. The development of diving research is of critical importance for every diver.
That’ s why the cooperation between DAN and MARES will not stop here, but is already evolving into a larger project called PHYPODE (physiopathology of decompression.) PHYPODE is a European Community project, undertaken with the knowledge that new interdisciplinary approaches to decompression are needed to reduce the risk for DCS.

To achieve this training program, academic partners, non-profit associations with worldwide operations, hyperbaric medical centres, and industrial partners will build up the jointly agreed education and research program using through their complementary areas of expertise.

Decompression sickness (DCS) is caused by the circulation of inert gas bubble formations in the blood vessels and tissues resulting from supersaturation during inadequate decompression. It is an acknowledged risk of situations involving changes in ambient pressure, such as space flight and extravehicular activity, exposure to altitude, and hyperbaric tunnelling operations, as well as recreational and commercial underwater diving. Because of new industrial challenges (human space flight programs, deeper planed tunnelling interventions and offshore oil excavation) and emerging recreational demands, the range of both environmental conditions and population characteristics involved in such activities are expanding regularly. Thus, new interdisciplinary approaches of decompression are needed to reduce the risk for DCS.
No actual university course is given in the specific field of research applied to decompression.
Not even formal medical instruction is provided in European universities as part of the standard medical education curriculum.

To foster knowledge of decompression phenomena, the PHYPODE ITN proposes to:

Develop an educational and research framework for cross-fertilization of currently fragmented research activities on the physiopathology of decompression;
Give young researchers opportunities to share research techniques and resources, benefit from the best international scientists’ knowledge in this field, and have the advantage of strong interactions between industry, medical centres and academia;
Widen career prospects for young researchers by embracing the whole chain of research: from fundamental research into the pathophysiological understanding of decompression to applied research in the industry for management of decompression.
But let’s now give the floor to Dr. Alessandro Marroni, President of DAN Europe, who has been following the DAN-MARES partnership in person since the beginning.

Alessandro Marroni, let’s take a step back. How did the cooperation between DAN and Mares get started?

"There is a long term friendship between me and many Mares Officers, which indeed helped, but, on top of it Mares has been interested in DAN’s Field Research and Data Collection programs since their very beginning. So, when also other opportunities for diving safety research came up, such as the Mares Deep Breath Hold Diving support action to Gianluca Genoni, who was also being monitored by DAN for physiological changes, it was just natural to meet and discuss a more comprehensive collaboration on the safety of diving in general, not only limited to efficiency and reliability of Dive Computers, but aimed at diver’s safety and comfort in general."

Implementation of the Mares Dive Organizer with a new application that makes it compatible with the DAN DL7 is a very important goal that we achieved together.
How will DAN use the data that will be sent from divers that has been collected through this application?

"This implementation will make easier, more efficient as well as faster and definitely diver-friendly the collection of dive data from the Dive Computer into the DAN Diving Safety Laboratory Data Base, which now already counts on over 300.000 recorded dives. The DSL Data Base is the tool that has so far allowed for revision of the safety parameters of many aspects of diving, not only the decompression algorithm, and has been instrumental in producing many of the results of the DAN Research Laboratory, such as, for instance, the data about safety stops, which have also been validated and accepted by the Author of the RGBM Model, Dr. Bruce Wienke. Obtaining more data from more divers, through a simpler, faster and diver friendly system will further increase the statistical analysis power of the DAN Dive Database."

How do you see the partnership between DAN and Mares developing?

"We are currently working on the Dive Computer project, but the plan is also to extend the cooperation to various aspect that will, in a hopefully near future, allow to monitor several diver’s physiological and performance parameters in real time, making it possible to communicate any important change, safety or behavioural information to the diver during the dive itself. Such project, essentially based on interfacing psysiological sensors and dive instruments visible to the diver, will involve, to mention only a few aspects, real time monitoring of cardiac and respiratory function, alertness and possible narcosis, certain biochemical parameters, such as blood glucose, etc. "

What about the PHYPODE Project? What are the main goals for DAN in the context of the PHYPODE Project?

"This project is a European Union funded research project aiming at improving the safety of decompression in both sport and professional diving. It has been started through a cooperative effort of the DAN Europe Research vision, the ISEK physiology and kinesiology of the Haute Ecole Henry Spaak of the University of Bruxelles, and the ORPHY Lab of the University of West Brittany in Brest. After approving the first research proposal and grant application the EU also requested that other Academic Institutions and Industrial Partners joined the project, and DAN Europe proposed and invited Mares. The main goal of the PHYPODE project is to improve the safety of diving, through the education and training of young researchers involved in statistical and epidemiological research on divers’ habits, behaviour and accidents, on physiological and pathological changes incurred by divers while diving, and on the development of tools and instruments which will make diving safer and better controlled. As you can see the goal of PHYPODE coincides with the scope of the DAN-Mares collaboration!"