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Wearable health tracking device

The Wearable Clinic

One in five people in the UK owns a wearable device, such as a smartwatch, to track their health.

A team of researchers from The Wearable Clinic, based at The University of Manchester were interested to understand if wearing such a device can help people with long-term conditions manage aspects of their health and care.

The team came to Research for the Future to help find people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to take part in a focus group.  They wanted to learn more about the benefits and barriers of digital devices as well as how people are using them as part of their care and what features might be most useful.  The main findings included:

  • People said they would value a device that could help them to manage their condition
  • People were willing to compromise on things like portability, appearance, and how discreet a device is, as long as the device could help them in new ways, or do more than one thing
  • There is no one-size-fits-all solution. People have different needs and any device to be used as part of NHS care needs to be able to meet these.

Researchers will use these findings to inform the next phase of design in the Wearable Clinic.