February 05, 2013

Wearable cameras – the next step in heart research?

Woman chopping vegetables in kitchenNew research published today suggests that using wearable cameras in research could help enhance our understanding of the links between our lifestyle and health.

The research was led by Dr Aidan Doherty who is part of the Health Promotion Research Group at the University of Oxford. The researchers compared wearable cameras with conventional methods for recording lifestyle behaviours such as food diaries where people self-report their behaviours

The cameras are worn around the participant’s neck and track every step, including what they eat and how much they exercise. By using this technique scientists can accurately see what effect lifestyle is having on their risk of heart disease. The researchers found using cameras provides a more accurate picture than if a participant fills in a questionnaire.

Our Medical Director Professor Peter Weissberg said:

“Our understanding of heart disease risk from public health research usually relies on people self-reporting factors like their diet and levels of exercise, which can be unreliable. These new studies show that using cameras to record these activities provides more accurate information than by conventional methods.

“It’s vital that health advice is backed up by reliable evidence. Technology like this could revolutionise public health research by giving us even greater insight into the lifestyle factors that increase our risk of heart disease.”

The research was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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