Apnea dive computer


The basic idea of the present work was to develop a small, handy and user friendly wrist diving computer able to i) provide continuous recording of two vital parameters such oxygen saturation and heart rate together with water temperature and water pressure, ii) display the information in real time on a graphical display and iii) store data for at least 4 hours.


The result is an apnea dive computer with the following features:

  • Continuous recording of depth, time, heart rate, oxygen saturation (SO2) and plethysmogram
  • Reflective SO2 sensor
  • Plethysmogram allows calculation of heart rate variability without the need of ECG
  • Ideal training tool for static and dynamic apnea diving
  • Safety tool to avoid shallow water blackout
  • Interesting tool for research in diving physiology

Core component of the dive computer is a low power microprocessor. A combined digital temperature / pressure sensor is integrated in the design for depth measurement. A 128x64 matrix display is used to visualize all dive relevant parameters plus plethysmogram, heart rate and oxygen saturation. Dive profile and plethysmogram are continuously tracked and stored in an external memory chip, which allows continuous recording and storage of 5 h of data (with a plethysmogram sampling frequency of 75 Hz).


This project was done by our team in collaboration with the Scuola Superiore Sant Anna, Pisa, Italy and CNR - Institute of Clinical Physiology, Pisa, Italy.



Kuch B, Koss B, Dujic Z., Buttazzo G, Sieber A. A novel wearable apnea dive computer for continuous plethysmographic monitoring of oxygen saturation and heart rate. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. 2010; 40(1): 34-40.







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