Success in extreme environments comes with a cost of subtle performance decrements that if not mitigated properly can lead to lifethreatening consequences. Identification and prediction of performance decline could alleviate deleterious consequences and enhance success in challenging and high-risk operations. The Rim-to-Rim Wearables at the Canyon for Health (R2R WATCH) project was designed to examine the cognitive, physiological, and biological markers of performance decline in the extreme environment of the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim (R2R) hike. The study utilized commercial off-the-shelf cognitive and physiological monitoring techniques, along with subjective self-assessments and hematologic measurements to determine subject performance and changes across the hike. The multiyear effort collected these multiple data streams in parallel on a large sample of participants hiking the R2R, leading to a rich and complex data set. This article describes the methodology and its evolution as devices and measurements were assessed after each data collection event. It also highlights a subset of the patterns of results found across the data streams. Subsequent work will draw on this data set to focus on building more sophisticated, predictive statistical models and dive deeper into specific analyses (such as the physiological and biological profiles of hikers who were left behind by their hiking partners).
Divis, Kristin; Abbott, Robert; Branda, Cathy; Emmanuel-Aviña, Glory; Femling, Jon; Huerta, J. Gabriel; Jelinková, Lucie; Jennings, J. Kyle; Pearce, Emily A.; Ries, Daniel; Sanchez, Danielle; and Silva, Austin
"Rim-to-Rim Wearables at the Canyon for Health (R2R WATCH): Physiological, Cognitive, and Biological Markers of Performance Decline in an Extreme Environment,"
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments: Vol. 18
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jhpee/vol18/iss1/1