June 2018: Innovation workshop - wearables in primary care


Led by: Dr David A. Ellis, Lecturer in Psychology/Computational Social Science, Department of Psychology, Lancaster University and Dr Lukasz Piwek, Lecturer in Data Science, School of Management, University of Bath
Date: June or July 2018 – date t.b.a. – 1 day workshop
Venue: Lancaster University
Fee: Free – no registration fee. Funding will be available to help with travel costs for early career researchers and PhD students who wish to attend.
To register: Registration details t.b.a. Follow us on twitter @GAMOnetwork or join our mailing list to stay up to date and make sure you don’t miss out.


Primary care remains a key point of contact for patients who are suffering from the effects of a sedentary lifestyle (e.g., cardiovascular problems), or who have complex needs with varying degrees of comorbidity (e.g., obesity and diabetes). This presents a challenging environment for the design of wearable technology. As part of their GetAMoveOn ‘thinkpiece’, the workshop organisers, David Ellis and Lukasz Piwek, considered how future wearable interventions might be improved or re-designed from the ground up in order to maximise their success rate. They proposed trialling a practitioner-based approach to help inform thinking about how wearable technologies might best serve specific domains in health or occupational settings. This workshop will be an interdisciplinary meeting to kick-start that process, by facilitating networking and collaboration between groups developing technologies and those within NHS primary care.


The goal is a frank and open exchange of ideas and concerns, leading to rapid development of innovative solutions, to lay the foundations for developing a funding proposal to design and build future technologies that aim to get patients moving more frequently.


Topics covered will include:

  • Problems facing primary care as a result of inactivity (GP Speaker)
  • Introduction to wearable tech
  • Overview of solutions from chemistry and material science (smart fabrics and sensors)
  • Exploration of data visualisation and how feedback from wearables can be presented to users.

Innovation sessions

The core work of the event will take place in a series of interdisciplinary breakout sessions, each including a mix of academics and health practitioners.

  • Each group will be assigned a health complaint associated with physical inactivity (e.g. high blood pressure, obesity) and tasked with developing an idea for an innovation that could one day be prescribed by a GP or other health care professional.
  • After each session, groups will present their ‘big idea’ to be scored by another group based on a variety of pre-determined metrics including: innovation, cost, potential benefit, ease-of-use, and long-term value for the NHS. Groups can submit more than one idea at once.
  • The best ideas will continue into the next round and be further refined, developed or even passed over until the best two or three best ideas are left. Ideas that are not carried over however, can of course be revisited at any time.
  • The focus will be placed on generating ideas quickly and refining these so they can be strengthened or shelved as the day progresses.
  • A number of follow-up meetings and online discussions will then be arranged in order to facilitate the development of a related funding application. This may focus on one specific intervention or bring together several that are associated with a specific health condition (e.g., diabetes). All attendees may, of course, develop their own ideas into proposals as they see fit.

We will announce the date and further details via email and twitter as soon as we have them. If you’re not already a member/on our mailing list, you can sign up to join the Network and receive our email newsletters (about one or two each quarter). Anyone who wants to join is welcome. Follow us on twitter @GAMOnetwork