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An Evaluation of the Elbit Canary and DynaSense PocketNIRS In-Flight Physiological Monitoring Systems

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Technical Report,01 Sep 2015,01 Jan 2017

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Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton Wright Patterson AFB United States

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Although a wide array of sensors monitor the state of an aircraft, pilots are made to monitor themselves. Currently, pilots must recognize and respond to hypoxic events after physiological effects have already begun. Physiological sensors are required in order to alert pilots to possible hypoxia prior to impairment. This study evaluated two physiological sensor systems in order to determine their accuracy and sensitivity during exposure to acute hypoxic conditions the Canary system Elbit, Israel and the PocketNIRS Duo DynaSense, Japan. We found that the Canary system generally performed well. The Canary was faster to reach 90 blood oxygen saturation during hypoxic conditions compared to a traditional finger oximeter, but demonstrated more frequent heart rate signal loss vs. the finger oximeter. The PocketNIRS sensor appeared to collect data reliably and displayed the expected physiological changes during hypoxic exposures, but we noted considerable signal drift over time and the magnitude of physiological changes was less than observed using a separately validated NIRS system. Overall we feel that both the Canary and PocketNIRS systems show potential, but the Canary system is closer to maturity.

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