What do we mean by ‘personal monitoring data’?

Personal monitoring data refers to information that is collected by wearable devices, such as health-tracking mobile phone apps and fitness watches.

What are we doing?

We want to see if we can link the data collected by these personal monitoring devices and apps with other existing health information, such as an individual’s medical records or scans. We hope to link these types of information together to build a better picture of how cardiovascular diseases develop, and to more effectively be able to monitor and manage an individual’s condition.

To investigate how the use of data from wearable devices could transform our understanding of cardiovascular disease, we organised a workshop in 2021 which brought together over 70 representatives from key stakeholder groups. Read the full report here.

The workshop explored the unique opportunities that wearables present, along with challenges, such as data privacy, linkage to health datasets, data validity, creating a representative dataset and health inequalities. The workshop highlighted the importance of developing studies that patients and the public value and trust, and technologies that they want to and are able to use.

Read the full report

Public and Patient Engagement

In 2022, we hosted a public webinar to engage the public in questions around the logistics and ethics of using wearables to help detect heart conditions. The interactive webinar – entitled ‘Could your smartphone help detect heart disease?’ – was led by Tim Chico, alongside our Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement manager, Samaira Khan, and members of our PPIE group, Helen Grice and Anwar Gariban. You can watch the webinar here.

A report of the webinar, including responses to the interactive Q&A session, reflections and an overview of the work in this area, is available below.

PPIE Webinar Report

We are now exploring the next steps towards creating a UK-based large scale research collection of wearable data linked to healthcare data that would place the UK and NHS in the forefront of this critical area.