New technology and novel methods for capturing health-related data in longitudinal studies

19th May 2017

About the workshop

Measuring health-related data in longitudinal studies can be a difficult task.

However, the recent development of innovative new techniques, such as the passive detection of health behaviours like smoking with wearable devices, means we will soon be able to measure more detailed and accurate data, in less invasive ways than has previously been possible.

This full-day workshop aims to explore and discuss the use of these new technologies and methods for capturing health-related data in longitudinal studies.

Delegates will hear experiences of techniques already in use in the CLOSER's consortium of studies, and from researchers developing new approaches to capturing a variety of health data from participants’ in their day-to-day lives. There will also be opportunities to discuss issues related to these new techniques, and ideas and requirements for future developments within this field.


Outline of the day

The day will run from 09:30 - 15:15 with lunch and refreshments provided throughout the day.

0900  Registration and refreshments

0930  Welcome and overview of the day - Andy Skinner (MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol)

0940  Session 1 - Reflections on experience

0940    Objectively measuring physical activity in the Millennium Cohort Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study - Matt Brown (Institute of Education, UCL)

0955    Adopting new technologies in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development - Andrew Wong (MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, UCL)

1010    Plans for the Health Innovation Panel in Understanding Society - Meena Kumari (Institute for Social & Economic Research, University of Essex)

1025 - 1040     Session discussion

1045  Coffee

1100  Session 2 - Tools and techniques

1105    Using Twitter for high-resolution phenotyping of mood in large samples - Oliver Davis (MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol)

1120    StopWatch: a smartwatch-based system for passive detection of smoking - Chris Stone (Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol)

1135    Through babies’ eyes: practical and theoretical considerations of using wearable technology to measure parent-infant behaviour from the mothers’ and infants’ viewpoints - Rebecca Pearson (Centre for Academic Mental Health, University of Bristol)

1150    Online tools and mobile phone photography for in-depth dietary data capture: reflections from a pilot study - Laura Johnson (Centre for Exercise Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Bristol)

1205 - 1220     Session discussion


1225  Lunch

1315  Session 3 - New directions in connected health

1320    SPHERE - a Sensor Platform for Healthcare in a Residential Environment - Pete Woznawski (Merchant Venturers’ School of Engineering, University of Bristol)

1335    Current and potential uses of connected health devices for research data collection - Josh Keith (Associate Director, Social Research Institute, Ipsos MORI)

1350 - 1405     Session discussion


1410  General discussion - Defining a research agenda and identifying priority areas for further research

1500    Summary of discussion

1515    Wrap-up

1530   Close



Please note when booking, delegates will be presented with three ticket options:

Speaker tickets should be chosen by individuals who will presenting at this workshop
CLOSER partners tickets have been reserved for colleagues at the CLOSER partner studies
General admission tickets are available for all to book



If you have any questions, please contact Jennie Blows (

Fees and Booking Information

Free. Registration required.

Venue and Travel Information

Engineer's House
The Promenade
Clifton Down