The Doctor Is In

Q:  How close is SAUL to a release date?

 A:  I still can’t set a precise date (or even a precise season).   At this point, the algorithm itself is already programmed and computer-ready.   The next step will be reworking a user interface to meet SAUL’s needs, since the input and the outputs would  differ from what’s currently in use.  Then, on to some beta testing and anything that that might lead to.  Finally, manufacturing and getting it out to market.  Along the way, of course, the usual business- related necessities have to be dealt with.   So my best guess would be a release date sometime in 2015.  


 Q:  How will the inputs and outputs be different?  

A:  On the input side, you will be able to select the level of risk (of DCS) you are willing to take, not just on a “more risk/less risk” basis but on an actual percentage basis.  The outputs you will see will be: a) time remaining at current depth, based on the risk level you input and an ascent that includes a 3-minute safety stop at 15 feet; b) the expected “hit” rate if you were to make an unplanned emergency ascent, without a safety stop; c) the expected “hit” rate if you were to make an unplanned ascent with a 3 minute  m   safety stop; d) (after your ascent) your expected “hit” rate.


Q:   Won’t “d)” be the same as your input risk level (if you’ve stayed to your limit) or the same as “b)” or “d)” if you made an unplanned ascent?

 A:   No, not exactly.  Because part of the total risk can be attributed to risk that occurs during all underwater ascents, and that part would be over.


 Q:    Some divers have started doing 5 minute stops instead of 3 minute stops.  Is that a good idea?

 A:    If you want to do it, go ahead.  It won’t hurt you – provided you’re still talking about a stop at 15 feet.   On the other hand, for most low-risk recreational diving 5 minutes will provide almost no additional benefit over 3 minutes.  Some exceptions, where it might be safer, would be on dives where you’re close to the no-decompression limits, particularly if a large portion of the dive has been spent at a medium depth (say, around 80 fsw). 


Q:   Do the compartments in the SAUL model represent particular tissues – like bone, muscle, etc.?

A:   No.  The compartments in SAUL represent the way the body as a whole takes on and gives off dissolved inert gas, and the risk the body incurs as a consequence.


 Q:  Do we have to wait for a “The Doctor Is In” segment to ask a question? 

A:  Not at all.  Questions are welcome in the Comments section, not only on “The Doctor Is In” segments, but in all posts with a comments section.  Questions do not need to be related to the specific topic(s) addressed in the post.




THE DOCTOR IS IN Part IV — 4 Comments

  1. SAUL sounds like a giant leap forward in dive safety and one that will always be attributed to the brain work of Dr Saul Goldman. As far as I understand however a route has been chosen to make the invention a proprietary solution, which is an unbelievable shame. Have you considered to make this algorithm available to the public domain so that *every* dive computer manufacturer can implement it, including those that do not want to be involved in the proprietary IP madness of this world. What if Einstein had taken a patent on all his inventions? What’s more important: A bank account or saving lives?

    • Thank you for your comment and your follow-up letter (e-mailed directly to me). The issues you raise (in both) are important ones which I address in my latest blog post.

    • SAUL will be available both for air decompression diving and for trimix/rebreather decompression diving, the latter in the 200-400 fsw range. The immediate priority, however, is to get SAUL out and in use in open-circuit scuba diving for air and Nitrox no-decompression diving.

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