Project AMM40

Exploring older people’s attitudes towards sharing activity monitoring data into social care services

To explore older people’s perceptions regarding benefits and concerns of home activity technology; specifically, regarding social services accessing data to support proactive, preventative interventions. Findings could inform social services development, delivery, and adoption success of this technology enabled care service.


Social services utilise technology enabled care (TEC), to support older people to remain living independently at home. One type of TEC is home activity monitoring sensors. These include movement sensors (at least), which collect continuous data, sent to an online portal. Trusted informal carers can view a person’s activity history, and receive real time alerts, to their smart phone. Any decline or deviation in a person’s normal routine might predict a problem early on.

Existing research regarding activity monitoring users sharing data with informal carers, or health clinicians, highlight concerns regarding reduced privacy and autonomy, loss of dignity, data security worries, and loss of control of one’s private life.

This study explored older people’s perceptions regarding benefits and concerns of this technology; specifically, regarding social services accessing data.

  1. This project explored what older people judge to be the benefits and concerns of sharing personal data via this technology
  2. Explored how older people perceive the differences between sharing data with informal carers vs. social care
  3. Identified factors that facilitate acceptance of data sharing with social care via home activity monitoring technology
  4. Identified key recommendations for developing digital technology services that involve data sharing that incorporate the views of older people and improve delivery from their perspective

Project Aims

This research addressed a research gap, as there is no research regarding technology adopters sharing home activity monitoring data specifically into social services departments. It provided necessary insight into the potential end user experience, helping to understand the attitudes of older people towards this technology, and helped improve technology service design, acceptance and delivery.

Project Activity

This is a qualitative study involving one semi structured interview (approx. 60 mins) with 10 -15 persons (65+) who have current experience of social care services. Data will be analysed using Thematic Analysis

Anticipated Impact

A mandatory output from this research is to write a report of findings. However the PI anticipated wider dissemination, intending to seek publication within social care and as an academic paper.
This is a social care research project and so impact/ implementation is focused towards social care practice. This study informed the design and delivery of technology enabled care within the East of England, where the study is taking place, but also further afield if published.

Who was involved?

Community of Practice:

  • Chris Metcalf - Lead Researcher (PI)
  • Simanga Billiat / Giles Conneely / Katie Bennett / Shan Kilby - Associate Researchers
  • Anne Pridmore / Hasmukh Mehta / Sarah Markham - Experts by Experience


Chris Metcalf

Research in Practice Lead/ PI

University of Hertfordshire

This project is part of the SCRiPT study, click here to read more about SCRiPT