Mount Kilimanjaro Expedition Works to Improve Human Health

Royal Philips announced it is collaborating with the Mayo Clinic to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, on a research expedition to understand how the body reacts to the rigors of high altitude and how those learnings can be applied to improving human health, according to a press release from Royal Philips.

Because the lack of oxygen at high altitudes mimics oxygen deprivation in the body during a cardiac event, Philips and Mayo Clinic researchers hope to understand how to better detect and prevent cardiac issues. The expedition, which will last about 10 days, started on Aug. 7, the press release noted.


Philips researchers hope to use the latest in app-based and digital technologies to record the vital signs of the nearly 35 participants on the climb, whose ages range from 25 to 65, to find clues as to how the body adapts to lack of oxygen.

Technologies utilized on the trip include:

  • Contactless monitoring: In many care settings, monitoring heart rate, arterial blood oxygenation, respiration rate and activity is a standard part of patient care to detect complications or deterioration. The current method for measuring these key vital signs requires the use of sensors on the skin or devices strapped to the body.
  • Philips CX50 xMATRIX and Lumify ultrasound systems: The Philips CX50 xMATRIX will be used to study heart measurements while the Lumify will be used for pulmonary measurements, both of which will help provide researchers with insight on the effects of hypoxia on human physiology.
  • Sleep diagnostics: At high altitude, the lack of oxygen can impact the body in a number of ways, including increased work of breathing and heart rate. The Alice NightOne wireless home sleep testing system will enable the research team to gather data on sleep quality and possible sleep disturbances from reduced oxygen content in the blood at high altitudes.

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