Our BSc in Remote Medicine for intercalating medical students focuses on exploring medicine in remote and low-resource environments.
Normally students would have an opportunity to travel to the Nepali Himalayas to carry out a research project. With the expedition cancelled due to Covid-19, four remote medicine students discuss how they adapted their research projects.
For my original research project, I chose to investigate sleep during an expedition to high altitude. Previous research has shown that human error is the leading cause of mountaineering accidents and at sea-level, sleep deprivation increases the risk of accidents due to human error. Therefore, my aim was to determine the contribution of the mountaineering environment to poor sleep and impaired cognitive performance on an expedition to altitude – using a reaction time application as a surrogate marker for cognitive function. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the planned expedition to Nepal was cancelled and so I devised a pilot study to test the reaction time application I wanted to use at altitude remotely with a small group of participants simulating a night slept at altitude in their own homes. (more…)