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Tailor-made decompression? New project at the University of Malta

Researchers at the University of Malta are working to develop a device that will determine decompression personalised for each diver. A very interesting project is being carried out by researchers from the University of Malta. The researchers received a grant of 200 thousand Euro to create a device for personalised decompression. PerDeMon, as it is
Published: December 12, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 23:45
Tailor-made decompression? New project at the University of Malta

Researchers at the University of Malta are working to develop a device that will determine decompression personalised for each diver.

A very interesting project is being carried out by researchers from the University of Malta. The researchers received a grant of 200 thousand Euro to create a device for personalised decompression. PerDeMon, as it is called, is to revolutionise diving in the near future.

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As we know, every body is different and decompression models in dive computers are based on theoretical assumptions. Meanwhile, researchers from Malta, want to create a device that will perfectly plan the decompression for the user.

PerDeMon

Research undertaken by Jonathan Farrugia aims to develop a personal decompression monitor – PerDeMon. The aim is to provide divers with accurate, real-time readings of their decompression. If the research team succeeds in creating a personalised decompression monitor, it will be a real revolution.

The researchers themselves make no secret of the fact that the project, carried out under the auspices of Dr Joseph Caruana of the physics department, is set to revolutionise the industry.

PerDeMon is something the diving industry has always been looking for. Although a diver today does not move in the dark, there is no guarantee of what is happening in his body. Replacing the currently available theoretical solutions with a monitoring device will lower the risk said Dr Caruana.

At this point, divers measure the time spent at given depths using a dive computer. The device then uses an algorithm to calculate the ascent schedule. At the same time, it recommends decompression stops at given depths to allow saturation from inert gases.

A given schedule depends on the specific diving profile. Instead, the whole process is modelled in a general theoretical framework that is not personalised to the diver. This is why sometimes decompression sickness occurs even if we perform everything according to the computer’s recommendations.

At the moment, a diver’s ascent is based on theory, and that doesn’t always work because our organisms are different explains Dr Caruana.

PerDeMon is a breakthrough device equipped with a sensor that will provide real-time data. The information gathered can then be used to adjust the decompression schedule for the individual diver. All to maximise safety.

Dr Caruana said the next phase of the research will involve testing the device in a hyperbaric chamber to ensure controlled conditions for testing. Once this phase of the project is complete, the device will be tested by divers. If it meets all requirements, this will mark the final validation of the project. The final step will be to bring PerDeMon to market.

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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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