Wearable Technology

A meeting of the Edinburgh Research Interest Group heard a talk on Saturday 12th January from Dr Thanasis Tsanas of Edinburgh University on the subject of wearable technology.

His work focuses on developing novel tools for data mining and extracting domain information through time series analysis, signal processing, and statistical machine learning. He has worked primarily on applications in healthcare and in particular neuroscience and mental disorders. For example, his PhD work focused on using speech to (a) differentiate healthy controls from people with Parkinson’s disease, and (b) to replicate a Parkinson’s disease symptom severity metric. Other applications of his work on speech-related projects include voice forensics, and even attempting to understand mouse communication through processing their vocalisations.

More recently, he has been working on developing algorithms to mine data collected from wearable sensors such as smartwatches. The aim is to provide an efficient, robust, objective way to characterise activity, sleep, and circadian rhythm patterns and assist people in daily living or monitor patient groups through treatment. Mining the data collected from these wearable sensors along with data collected from mobile phones offers an unprecedented opportunity to monitor longitudinal patterns at a large scale, and can help revolutionise contemporary healthcare.

The seminar also featured a short report on a research project, the Lompard study, by PhD student, Anne Steinberg. Anne is working under the joint supervision of Dr Gordon Duncan of Edinburgh University and Dr Esther Sammler of Dundee University. The research team is currently seeking volunteer subjects, and anyone interested in taking part, or seeking further information is invited to contact Anne
(anne.steinberg@ed.ac.uk).

  • You can read a summary of the talk written by one of our members – just follow this link
  • Anne’s overhead slides can be downloaded as [pdf] here
  • We hope to be able to post the audio recording of talk but unfortunately there were technical problems which prevent us from making the video recording available.

Attendees enjoyed a sandwich lunch after the talk. We are grateful to Dr Tilo Kunath for his hospitality at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine.