An Igor Pro 8.01 Procedure to Analyze Pulse Oximetry during Acute Hypoxia Test in Aircrews

Manuel Alvear-Catalán, Claudio Montiglio, Ignacio Perales, Ginés Viscor, Oscar F. Araneda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The recognition of hypoxia symptoms is a critical part of physiological training in military aviation. Acute exposure protocols have been designed in hypobaric chambers to train aircrews to recognize hypoxia and quickly take corrective actions. The goal of the acute hypoxia test is to know the time of useful consciousness and the minimal arterial oxygen saturation tolerated. Currently, there is no computer system specifically designed to analyze the physiological variables obtained during the test. This paper reports the development and analytical capabilities of a computational tool specially designed for these purposes. The procedure was designed using the Igor Pro 8.01 language, which processes oxygen saturation and heart rate signals. To accomplish this, three functional boards are displayed. The first allows the loading and processing of the data. The second generates graphs that allow for a rapid visual examination to determine the validity of individual records and calculate slopes on selected segments of the recorded signal. Finally, the third can apply filters to generate data groups for analysis. In addition, this tool makes it possible to propose new study variables that are derived from the raw signals and can be applied simultaneously to large data sets. The program can generate graphs accompanied by basic statistical parameters and heat maps that facilitate data visualization. Moreover, there is a possibility of adding other signals during the test, such as the oxygenation level in vital organs, electrocardiogram, or electroencephalogram, which illustrates the test’s excellent potential for application in aerospace medicine and for helping us develop a better understanding of complex physiological phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2327
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • acute hypoxia test
  • aircrews
  • heart rate
  • hypobaric chamber
  • pulse oximetry
  • software


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