The feasibility of a real-time electrocardiogram (ECG) transmission via satellite phone from Mount Everest to determine a climber's suitability for continued ascent was examined. Four Taiwanese climbers were enrolled in the 2009 Mount Everest summit program. Physiological measurements were taken at base camp (5300 m), camp 2 (6400 m), camp 3 (7100 m), and camp 4 (7950 m) 1 hour after arrival and following a 10 minute rest period. A total of 3 out of 4 climbers were able to summit Mount Everest successfully. Overall, ECG and global positioning system (GPS) coordinates of climbers were transmitted in real-time via satellite phone successfully from base camp, camp 2, camp 3, and camp 4. At each camp, Resting Heart Rate (RHR) was transmitted and recorded: base camp (54-113 bpm), camp 2 (94-130 bpm), camp 3 (98-115 bpm), and camp 4 (93-111 bpm). Real-time ECG and GPS coordinate transmission via satellite phone is feasible for climbers on Mount Everest. Real-time RHR data can be used to evaluate a climber's physiological capacity to continue an ascent and to summit.
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