CREST Outputs


A simple location-tracking app for psychological research

Location data gathered from a variety of sources are particularly valuable when it comes to understanding individuals and groups. However, much of this work has relied on participants’ active engagement in regularly reporting their location. More recently, smartphones have been used to assist with this process, but although commercial smartphone applications are available, these are often expensive and are not designed with researchers in mind. To overcome these and other related issues, we have developed a freely available Android application that logs location accurately, stores the data securely, and ensures that participants can provide consent or withdraw from a study at any time. Further recommendations and R code are provided in order to assist with subsequent data analysis.

(From the journal abstract)

Geyer, K., Ellis, D. A., & Piwek, L. (2019). A simple location-tracking app for psychological research. Behavior Research Methods, 51(6), 2840–2846.

Authors: Kristoffer Geyer, David Ellis, Lukasz Piwek
The Rise of Consumer Health Wearables: Promises and Barriers

Will consumer wearable technology ever be adopted or accepted by the medical community? Patients and practitioners regularly use digital technology (e.g., thermometers and glucose monitors) to identify and discuss symptoms. In addition, a third of general practitioners in the United Kingdom report that patients arrive with suggestions for treatment based on online search results. However, consumer health wearables are predicted to become the next “Dr Google.” One in six (15%) consumers in the United States currently uses wearable technology, including smartwatches or fitness bands. While 19 million fitness devices are likely to be sold this year, that number is predicted to grow to 110 million in 2018. As the line between consumer health wearables and medical devices begins to blur, it is now possible for a single wearable device to monitor a range of medical risk factors. Potentially, these devices could give patients direct access to personal analytics that can contribute to their health, facilitate preventive care, and aid in the management of ongoing illness. However, how this new wearable technology might best serve medicine remains unclear.

(From the journal abstract)

Piwek, L., Ellis, D. A., Andrews, S., & Joinson, A. (2016). The Rise of Consumer Health Wearables: Promises and Barriers. PLOS Medicine, 13(2), e1001953.

Authors: Lukasz Piwek, David Ellis, Adam Joinson

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