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Innovative altitude research

On 19 and 20 January 2016, a team of cardiologists at Poole Hospital will implant hairpin-sized heart monitors, known as Reveal LINQs, into 16 members of the Navy, Army and RAF, who will be taking part in a 1-2 month mountain climb of the 6920m Tukuche peak in Nepal and Dhaulagiri at an altitude of 8167m - the 7th highest mountain in the world.

research project high altitude

This expedition is an important adventure training exercise for the military. This high altitude research study principle purpose is to investigate the potential relationship between increasing and extreme high altitude exposure and the development of cardiac rhythm disturbances, altitude sickness and oxygen levels.  The results will be used to assess the health of military personnel deployed to high altitude, as they were in Afghanistan.

Dr Christopher Boos, consultant cardiologist and physician, will lead the team at Poole Hospital in inserting the climbers with a Medtronic Reveal LINQ™, a wireless cardiac heart monitor which will automatically transmit the electrical patterns of each heartbeat, via a satellite phone, back to the ground in the UK, for real-time analysis– medical research which has never been done before.

Dr Boos said: “This exciting study brings to life the concept that people can be extremely remotely located, yet still able to rely on quick diagnoses through medical technology. A climber’s cardiac system has never before been so thoroughly studied at such extreme altitudes and the research will unlock some of the unexplained mysteries of altitude sickness and counteract the life-threatening symptoms it inflicts. 

"Poole Hospital is proud to have been selected to perform this procedure, enabling us to support this valuable medical research. We wish all climbers the best of luck as they embark on this challenging and important expedition and look forward to the outcomes.” 

Climber, expedition leader and surgeon commander Adrian Mellor said: “The expedition is a great opportunity to undertake novel medical research during military adventurous training.  Understanding how the body functions, especially during exercise, under conditions of extreme lack of oxygen, is crucial to understanding how we acclimatise to altitude and, more importantly, may help us better understand some of the mechanisms behind critical illness.”

A spokesperson from Medtronic, manufacturer of the Reveal LINQ, said: “The Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitoring System is designed to help the doctor diagnose and treat irregular heartbeats that may be related to unexplained fainting. We’re delighted to be involved with the study which could potentially have a huge impact on the medical community to deepen our understanding of how the body reacts and operates at such extremes and therefore understand how to optimise performance.  We await the findings of the research with great interest”. 



Media enquiries

For more information contact Richard Moremon, Head of Communications on 01202 442408 or email


Notes to editors

About Poole Hospital

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is an acute general hospital serving the 272,000 people living in Poole, East Dorset and Purbeck. Its cardiology department incorporates a range of specialist heart services including non-invasive cardiology tests, cardio-respiratory services, pacemaker implantation, community-based heart failure teams and cardiac rehabilitation.

About the Expedition

The quadrennial Joint Services expedition will take place in the Dhaulagiri region of Nepal during April and May 2016 and involve servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force. The overall ethos of the expedition is to conduct high quality Adventurous Training in a unique and remote environment, whilst simultaneously conducting a number of medical research projects through the voluntary involvement of expedition members. Find out more information on

About Reveal LINQ™ ICM

The Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) System is a miniaturised insertable heart monitor designed to help physicians quickly and accurately diagnose irregular heartbeats.

The Reveal LINQ ICM device is:

·         Small & Minimally Invasive

o   The smallest cardiac monitor available (~1 cc), it’s one-third the size of a AAA battery

o   To insert, the Reveal LINQ ICM sits just under the skin and requires an incision of less than 1-cm, making it the most discreet cardiac monitoring option

·         Advanced Technology

o   Wireless technology allows for quick notifications of cardiac activity to physicians on the Medtronic CareLink system

o   The Reveal LINQ system includes the new Medtronic MyCareLink™ Patient Monitor

o   Though small, the Reveal LINQ ICM has a 3-year battery life and data memory that is 20 percent greater than current monitoring devices

·         MR-Conditional

o   In addition to continuous heart monitoring, patients with the Reveal LINQ ICM have access to MRI, the gold standard in diagnosis for many diseases

·         Continuously Collects Data

o   The Reveal LINQ ICM continuously monitors the heart so that physicians have a reliable snapshot of each patient’s cardiac activity, allowing them to accurately diagnose and monitor each patient

·         Improved Efficiency

o   The Reveal LINQ ICM gives clinicians diagnostic reports in easy-to-read, condensed formats

About Medtronic

Medtronic is supporting the science and research element of the expedition by providing the cardiac heart monitors via an educational research grant.

Through innovation and collaboration, Medtronic improves the lives and health of millions of people each year.  Learn more about our technology, services and solutions at



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