How healthcare technology is changing wildlife conservation

Tim Laske crouched in the snow between the bear and her lair, downloading her heart rate data onto a computer. This data was recorded by an insertable cardioid monitor one-third the size of an AAA battery.

The Medtronic Reveal LINQ™ Insertable Heart Monitor he is Helping researchers like Laske, vice president of research and business development for the Cardiac Ablation Solutions business at Medtronic, learn the characteristics of wild and endangered species for further conservation efforts.

For hours on a cold February day, he and a team of wildlife biologists worked carefully to gather information about the 204-pound hibernating bear and its cubs.

“Just like the human patient,” he said, “the welfare of the bear is the number one priority.”

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Laske displays data collected from LINQ to Julie Brewer

He has been studying the physiology of bears since 1999, and is publishing Dozens of studies – one of which has caught the attention of the Smithsonian’s National Institute of Conservation Biology and National Parks (SCBI).

Rozana Moraes, a senior research fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, remembers the moment she encountered his study of the stress response of wild bears to drone flights through cardiac monitoring.

“WWhen I saw that data, I envisioned all the possibilities we could do with a tool like this,” she said.

The study of the rhythm of life was born.

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Rosanna and other Smithsonian researchers study a coyote

Using insertable heart monitors donated by Medtronic, Moraes and her colleagues are tracking the heart rates of wolves, oryxes and jaguars to gain insight into stressors and what can be manipulated in the environment to create better conditions for wildlife.

with hHuman numbers are expanding rapidly, and wildlife is having a hard time adapting. So, heart rhythm data, along with research on its movement and other physiological markers, provides vital information to help animals survive.

According to Moraes, the data could ultimately have a broader impact. I discovered something unexpected that stemmed from research – empathy.

Generating this type of data is of immense benefit to humans because people can have more contact with wildlife. “It is very helpful for people to think of the animal heart that responds to emotions as we do. In the long run, it creates another generation of conservationists.”

“The possibilities are unlimited”

When Laske – a fellow Bakken, Medtronic’s highest tech honor – doesn’t wear head-to-toe fleece and snowshoe to endure dens, he’s Scouts For promising technologies and businesses that Medtronic will acquire.

But his work in conservation biology as a professor in University of Minnesota Visible Heart® Laboratories that combine his expertise and passion for biomedical engineering with wildlife, to fulfill a childhood dream.

“IIt was a dream come true to be an engineer and a wildlife biologist.”

Lask He loves being in the field, but as a scientist, he’s equally excited to get back to the office and open up the data files.

“sThe art of our mission at Medtronic is to be good global citizens. And that means we have to help take care of the planet, help take care of each other, the environment, and the species in it,” Laske said.

Julie Brewer, The same sentiment is shared by the chief of Cardiovascular Diagnostics and Services at Medtronic, who donates heart monitors.

“It is amazing to see how scientists and researchers are using Reveal LINQ ICM technologies to help inform wildlife conservation efforts and improve our understanding of how these remarkable creatures are affected by their ever-changing environment,”He said. “We are pleased that Medtronic is playing a small role in providing technology that may help improve animal welfare and support future conservation actions for these vulnerable animals.”

In some ways, despite its launch in 2017, the Smithsonian’s study is just getting started. This summer, humanoid wolves are being reintroduced into the wild for further study. There are plans to include penguins and elephants in the upcoming research.

“They have a global reach with researchers all over the world,” Lasky said. “The potential for this is really limitless now.”

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