Characterization and modeling of the physiological response in variable hyperbaric environments

Responsable (externo al I3A)

María Dolores Peláez Coca

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The term hyperbaric environment is commonly associated with the practice of diving. There are about 7 million of active divers in the whole world, but they are not the only subjects that are exposed to hyperbaric environments. For example, hyperbaric medicine is currently being used and developed internationally. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a well-established treatment based on obtaining high partial pressures of oxygen when breathing pure oxygen inside a hyperbaric chamber. As a therapy, HBOT results in the oxygenation of body tissues favoring regeneration at cell, tissue, muscle and bone levels. However, being exposed to hyperbaric environments entails risks: hyperoxia, narcosis, decompression sickness, barotraumas, etc.

The objective of this Project is to model the psychophysiological response of subjects exposed to hyperbaric environments, identifying the physiological parameters that better characterize this response. These models will allow, in the near future, an early identification of dysfunctional psychophysiological states that can be risky for the health of the subjects. In order to do that, differential modelling techniques and multi-gaussian modelling will be used to extract the morphological features of the PPG signal.  These features, together with the time-frequency parameters of the heart rate variability, will be the base to generate models of  the activity of the Autonomic  Nervous System (ANS) of subjects exposed to variable hyperbaric conditions.