MAM is a mobile application that aims to prevent Acute Mountain Sickness in order to reduce the number of accidents.
Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is an illness caused by a reduced air pressure, causing an exponential reduction of oxygen saturation in the blood. The sickness normally occurs at heights superior of 2400m as a result symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sleep disturbance, dizziness, lightheadedness and lack of appetite are to be expected.
Our project’s main goal is therefore to construct a system of prevention of the AMS by using an application developed on Android and iOS platforms. The realization of this project is done in partnership with the Biomedical Research center of the Army (IRBA), who supplied us with oxygen sensors and an initial database to help us develop an algorithm of prevention.
The team consists of six engineering students: Lucie Aupic, Isabelle Matthiesen and Magali Coquery whom all work with the medical aspects of the project (prevention advice and analysis of the database from the alpinists). Archange Nigar who is responsible of the iOS development and Matthieu Papillon and Antoine Genevrier work with the Android development.
Our system of prevention consists of three different tests: an oxygen saturation and heart rate test measured with a Massimo sensor put on the user’s finger, a questionnaire called the Lake Louise test and a cognitive test called N-back. The results of the three tests are put together to give a score from 0 to 13 describing your physical condition concerning the AMS. The scale is divided into four different levels, 0-3: means that you have not caught the AMS, 4-6: implies that you are moderately suffering from AMS. With a score of 7 or more and you are suffering from AMS but a score exceeding 9 means that you are severely ill and that you should go down. Depending on your score you will be given different advices on how to go on with your journey at your altitude.
The weekend of the 7th and the 8th of March 2015, we went to Chamonix with our partner to execute an initial testing phase of the beta version of our application. In order to acquire the results that interest us, we went to the highest peak available for tourist at 3842 m. We then asked people to try out our application and criticize it. Thanks to the new data, we were able to improve our prevention algorithm, make some user-friendly changes and fix bugs.
The biggest problem we encountered during this project was the creation of the prevention algorithm. To develop a correct algorithm we would have needed a bigger database with more people suffering from AMS. In our case, only three people were ill. Due to a limited budget we were unable to organize more expeditions, which unfortunately prevents our algorithm from being a 100% reliable. As our application allows the user to send his data via mail, a postjourney study would help us perfect our algorithm.