City4Age is coming to Yardley and Needs You!!

Digital Birmingham continues our involvement in the European funded, City4Age project which aims to tackle frailty and social isolation of older people (over 65s) by increasing their mobility and physical and social activities through the use of wearable technology like smart watches.  

Following the success of the first study in Sutton Coldfield (Mere Green neighbourhood), we are now looking for people willing to take part in the second study in Yardley (The Radley’s neighbourhood); which will start in December 2017 for 6 months. Participants will again be provided with smart watches and will use other devices like their smart phones to capture locality and context specific data about their physical activity - steps, distance travelled, sleep patterns as well as health data. Outdoor beacons will be positioned in places of interest in the local community for example café’s, medical centres, libraries and supermarkets, which will register the time and frequency of their visits.

What is the study about?

Many older people can be greatly affected even after a minor change in their living or health conditions. City4Age aims to capture and make use of personal activity and daily living data along with other information in a way that will help older adults stay independent and active for as long as possible.

Who can take part?

For Phase 2:  We are inviting older adults, aged 65+, living in Yardley (and ideally use the facilities of The Radley’s shopping district) to take part in the second phase of the study. Participants will need to have broadband access in the home (with supporting Wi-Fi), own an Android Smart Phone and be willing to wear a smart watch throughout the course of the study. The project will be recruiting around 35 people for the second phase which is due to run for 6 months and will kick off in December 2017.

What is involved?

Participants will be provided with a Nokia Activité Steel watch that has to be worn during the course of the study and is theirs to keep once the study is complete.  This wearable is both a watch and activity monitor that records data about physical activity – number of steps; distance and pace as well as daily sleep patterns (total hours slept and type of sleep – light; deep and REM). We will also be placing sensors at popular ‘points of interest’ chosen collectively by the study participants so that we can collect information about some of their daily trips. This will help us to understand the impact that using technologies can have on promoting physical activity, independence and improving quality of life.

Why is citizen involvement important to the success of this study?

City4Age is a research project and the design and development of the solution needs to be shaped by those that will most benefit from the service. It is important that older adults are actively involved in helping to shape and improve how City4Age is developed and we will be seeking their views, comments and feedback during the course of the study.

How long will the study last?

The phase 2 study will start in December and last for a maximum of 6 months. During this time we will be monitoring use of the technologies, analysing the data with the participants’ involvement and looking at how we can help increase their physical and social activity as required through a range of interventions.

If you know anyone who is interested or would benefit from participating in this innovative research study then ask them to email their name and contact number/email to digital@birmingham.gov.uk and we will contact them direct to follow up on their interest.  Or why not join us for a spot of lunch and a chat on Thursday 30th November 2017 at Ann Marie Howes Day Centre from 12 noon to find out more information on how you can take part (see the attached leaflet for more info).

Thanking you in anticipation and no need to panic just yet, but did you know, it’s now only…39 days, 11 hours and 29 or so minutes until Christmas?!!


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