Technology to Optimise Movement for Health and Wellbeing
Submitting InstitutionGlasgow Caledonian University
Unit of AssessmentComputer Science and Informatics
Summary Impact TypeHealth
Research Subject Area(s)
Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Summary of the impact
To facilitate physical and emotional recovery after a stroke, knee
replacement, and falls we created assistive rehabilitation technology that
enabled patients to evaluate their own rehabilitation progress. This
technology is delivered wherever the person is (e.g. home or community
settings) so that the optimum care can be delivered. 6 doctors, 15
physiotherapists and 80 patients in the Greater Glasgow area confirmed the
benefits for enhancing recovery of patients. Similar technology inspired
the development of three children's physical activity games in
collaboration with a commercial company Numiko, the games were used by the
BBC on its CBeebies children's website.
Our work started (2009) with collaborations with Paths to Health
(PTH) [F1], which is a walk based charity. The raison d'ětre of the
charity is to encourage people to be more active. They were interested in
working with us to research two issues:
- were the people involved in their activities increasing their level of
physical of activity over the long term?
- were there any additional ways in which we could use technology to
encourage higher levels of physical activity?
The report that we wrote on the outcomes of our collaborative project
with (PTH) entitled CHAPs has been downloaded over 800 [C1, C2]
times and has been read by a wide range of people e.g. Health
Practitioners, walk co-ordinators, council officials, council workers and
the Scottish Physical Activity Collaboration. The research work reported
in the PTH report and in  regarding promoting physical activity
resulted in 3 direct outputs:
- The quoting of the research work in a national strategy report for the
future of health care [C3].
- A collaborative grant with research intensive Universities for a UK
research council [F2]
- The further quoting of the work in a UK health strategy report [C4].
The publication of the CHAPs report directly led to meetings and then a
collaborative project application in the area of Life Long Health and
Wellbeing (LLHW) with researchers from several Universities. The grant was
awarded ([F2] ID: 91021, 2010-2013). The project investigated
visualisation of physical movement for rehabilitation. In [2,3,4] we
report on how we designed, developed and built a novel wireless sensor
motion capture system for the project that captures a users physical
activity whilst they carry out their rehabilitation exercises, and
displays their movements to them visually. The visualisations show the
patients how well they are undertaking their exercises and monitors their
progress. The originality of this work is in the technologies ability to
enable people, undertaking rehabilitation in their own homes, to
understand and interpret their own physical movement correctly.
In (EPSRC Grant ID: EP/F00558X/1 [F3] awarded to Knox and in
(EP/100680X/1] awarded to Cassidy [F4]) we extended our focus from
physical wellbeing to also include emotional wellbeing. The reason for
this was that the focus on health management in the community at this time
was extended to include management of pain and stress. Technology from
these projects focused on the development of advanced audio technology for
the analysis and the classification of music emotion, as well as the
beneficial effects of music listening for emotion regulation and stress
reduction. The successful outcomes of this project were reported in the
national press [C7] and on the BBC [C8].
We have built on the expertise developed in these grants to help us
develop and carry out work in another research grant [F5] and a grant to
set up a network in this area [F6]. This work is unique in drawing
together separate threads of music psychology, neurological rehabilitation
and music, games and assistive technology with the aim of creating novel
solutions for the enhancement of patient wellbeing [2,3,4,5 & 6].
References to the research
1. MacLellan, G., Baillie, L., & Granat.M. The Application of a
Physical Activity and Location Measurement System to Public Health
Interventions to Promote Physical Activity. International Conference on
Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments. Corfu, Greece,
2. Loudon, D., Macdonald, A., Carse, B., Thikey, H., Jones, L., Rowe, P.,
Uzor, S., Ayoade, M & L. Baillie. Developing visualisation software
for rehabilitation: investigating the requirements of patients, therapists
and the rehabilitation process. Health Informatics Journal, Sage, v18 (3),
3. Uzor, S., Baillie, L., & Skelton, D. Senior Designers: Empowering
Seniors to Design Enjoyable Falls Rehabilitation Tools. In the proceedings
of the International Conference on Computer Human Interaction (CHI) 2012.
4. Uzor, S & Baillie, L. Exploring & Designing Tools to Enhance
Falls Rehabilitation in the Home. In the proceedings of the International
Conference on Computer Human Interaction (CHI) 2013.
5. Knox, D. Mitchell, L., Beveridge, S. and R. MacDonald. 2011. Acoustic
Analysis and Mood Classification of Pain-Relieving Music. Journal of the
Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 130, No. 3. Sept 2011, pp. 1673-1682.
6. Van Wijck, F. Knox, D., Dodds, C., Cassidy, G., MacDonald, R. And G.
Alexander. Making music after stroke: using musical activities to enhance
arm function. Journal, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Volume
1252, The Neurosciences and Music IV Learning and Memory pages 305-311,
F1. Prof Lynne Baillie, Changing People's Activity Patterns, Paths to
Health Charity, Dec 2008-Feb 2009, £25k.
F2. Prof P.Rowe (PI), Prof. L. Baillie (Co-I) and Prof. A.McDonald
(Co-I), Promoting physical independence by involving users in
rehabilitation through dynamic visualisation of biomechanical data
(Envisage), Medical Research Council, Grant ID: 91021, Dec 2009-Nov 2013,
F3. Dr Knox EPSRC First Grant Emotion Classification in Contemporary
Music (EP/F00558X/1), Dec 2007-Nov 2010, £82,246.
F4. Dr G. Cassidy EPSRC First Grant, Music Games: Supporting New
Opportunities for Music Education. (EP/100680X/1). May 2011-April 2013
F5. Prof Van Wicke (PI) and Prof L.Baillie (Co-I) Neurological Project
Award by the Physiotherapy Research Foundation, Project Title: What are
the effects of early versus delayed additional physiotherapy on arm
function after stroke, compared with usual care, May 2013-Jun 2015, 199k.
F6. Prof Van Wicke, Dr Don Knox, Dr Gianna Cassidy, Prof R.MacDonald
(Edinburgh Uni) Carnegie Trust Grant. Scottish Music and Health Network
Details of the impact
Our reach has been broad moving from the treatment of patients in their
own homes to NHS and Government reports, to BBC promoted children's
movement games. Our work has shown impacts on the following:
- Public Policy and Services: by influencing the formation of government
strategy for the future delivery of health services in the community at
National and UK government level.
- Health: by providing our technology for rehabilitation in the home to
patients whose medical outcomes and quality of life were improved as a
result of using it.
- Commerce by working with a company (NUMIKO) to create and then sell
their series of physical activity music games to the BBC for their
As news of our work spread we were invited to take part in public
festivals and related events. For example, we have demonstrated our
technology at the UK Parliament (2013) [C6], The Edinburgh Science
Festival (2013), Big Bang Scotland (2013) and Glasgow's 3rd
Active Ageing Week (2012).
In the next section we report in more detail the particular impacts that
we have had and the beneficiaries.
The PTH report (see underpinning research) CHAPs [C1 & C2] was also
highlighted in a national report commissioned by Scottish Telehealth and
Telecare Centre and NHS Scotland [C3]. The report authors comment that the
research results reported upon in our PTH report clearly demonstrate the
value of being able to capture the impact on one person of a physical
activity scheme via mobile/wireless technology. The Scottish Telehealth
report was also cited by a UK government report [C4] as regards the best
long term strategy for health, care and wellbeing. This demonstrates that
our research has had an impact on public policy and services.
Our work [2,3,4] on the MRC project [F2] into rehabilitation technologies
led to the design of a rehabilitation technology for knee replacement,
falls and stroke patients. The technology has been used by surgeons,
physiotherapists and patients in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde areas at
NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Golden Jubilee National Hospital Clydebank and the
Glasgow Falls service. The technology was given to patients along with the
usual standard care provide by these services. The technology has now been
used in the home successfully by over 80 patients after knee replacement
surgery and after a fall. A Orthopaedic consultant surgeon [C5] at one of
the hospitals said that: "Our patients have benefited from this technology
as we could monitor the patients from a distance, see their progress on
the screen, and quickly talk and see (through the video conferencing part
of the software) them and their movement and if necessary readmit them to
hospital if problems arose."
This technology was the first to demonstrate that recently discharged
patients could monitor their own rehabilitation programme in their homes
and that they benefited from improved clinical outcomes as a result e.g.
improved range of movement, walking speed and balance, all of which are
important for daily living activities. Alongside the independent clinical
measures that showed improved outcomes from using our technology the
patients also said that they had "an improved quality of life" according
to EQ5D scoring (EQ5D is a standardised instrument for use as a measure of
health outcome) which is another example of health impact.
The LLHW project, Envisage [F2] was selected to be showcased as one of
the 9 ground breaking multidisciplinary projects of the UK's seven
Research Councils at the UK Parliament. The event was hosted by the Chair
of the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee and the Chair of
Research Councils UK. The project was the only one selected from over 30
current projects in the LLHW programme due to its innovative design and
potential economic and health impacts. Both were impressed by the work of
the project team and its already occurring impact and the potential for
its impact to rapidly expand. In addition to this praise the project has
also recently been awarded the "Translating Research Award" by the Chair
of "AGE" the cross research council advisory group of experts on aging.
The project was praised for its clinical utility and value to older
adults, its innovative concepts and its impact in the field of health and
In 2011 we were approached by Numiko, a ground breaking digital design
company based in Leeds, UK, the company has 26 members of staff and is
famous for its innovative digital communications. They solve digital
problems for their clients through user research, design and technology
across digital platforms. GCU worked with this award-winning digital
agency, to develop the Sing-a-long series of online web based physical
activity music games, the games are a presenter-led interactive musical
activity based around nursery rhymes and activity songs. The purpose of
the games is to promote physical activity to children as a fun and
engaging activity rather than only undertaking physical activity as a
competitive endeavour. GCU worked with Numiko to develop and test a set of
three physical activity games set to music that were sold to the BBC in
2011 and have now been made available on the Cbeebies website [C9]. Numiko
said GCU was their first choice for the collaboration. The product manager
at Numiko at the time of development but now a product manager at the BBC,
said: "We were so impressed with the team at Glasgow Caledonian
University, the level of expertise and the facilities there". They were
great to work with and are so passionate, it's really inspiring." [C10]
Sources to corroborate the impact
C1. Paths to Health (PTH) Reports CHAPS Activity Monitoring (800
C2. Contact at PTH
C3. Scottish Telehealth and Telecare strategy completed for the Scottish
Telehealth Centre and NHS Scotland: http://www.sctt.scot.nhs.uk/pdf/rehabreport.pdf
C5. Deployment of new technology for knee rehabilitation. The Golden
Jubilee National Hospital Clydebank (Contact: Orthopaedic Coordinator,
Golden Jubilee National Hospital)
C6. MRC Communication Manager Contact
C9. BBC Cbeebies website_screen shot
C10. Numiko website_project_info