Experiences of using a wearable camera to record activity, participation and health-related behaviours: Qualitative reflections of using the Sensecam

Gemma Wilson, Derek Jones, Patricia Schofield, Denis Martin

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Abstract

Objective - Upcoming technology is changing the way that we are able to collect data looking into activity, social participation and health behaviours. Wearable cameras are one form of technology that allows us to automatically record a collection of passive images, building a visual diary of the user’s day. Whilst acknowledging the usefulness of wearable cameras in research, it is also important to understand individuals’ experiences whilst using them. The aim of this study was to explore the acceptance, experience and usability of a wearable camera (Microsoft® Sensecam) to record the day-to-day activity and social participation of older people. Methods - A total of 18 older adults, who had worn the wearable camera for seven days, took part in semi-structured interviews. Results - Four themes emerged from the findings: ‘Intrusiveness’; ‘Importance of others’; ‘Remembering the wearable camera’; and ‘Ease of use’. Conclusions - Individuals’ expectations and experiences of using the wearable camera differed considerably. Participants believed that the wearable camera would be intrusive, difficult to use and would evoke public reaction; however, these worries were not borne out in experience. Individuals typically forgot about the presence of the wearable camera during use, remembering it only sporadically. One drawback to its use is that some participants were cautious of using the camera when around others, which impacted the amount of time the camera was worn, and, therefore, the nature of the data recorded. Design issues of the Sensecam were also a problem for the older adults in the study and affected their interaction with the technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalDigital Health
Volume2
Early online date14 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jul 2017

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