New technologies to measure non-health topics in longitudinal studies ShareThis


This workshop aimed to identify innovative new technologies that can be used to generate new science, as well as the implications for data quality, and key methodological research needs.

Aims of the Workshop

Drawing on evidence from across the longitudinal studies in CLOSER, and beyond, this workshop discussed evidence gathered to date on the use of new technologies to measure non-health topics.

Examples of these new technologies include data collection using smartphone features (apps, GPS etc.), wearable devices and other types of monitors. That is, any methods that can be used to measure key variables more accurately, or perhaps in a less burdensome way, or to respond to new and emerging research needs in non-health areas.

Building on presentations and discussions, the workshop aimed to identify innovative new technologies that can be used to generate new science, the implications for data quality, and key methodological research needs.


9:30 Registration and coffee

10.00 Welcome (Michaela Benzeval, UKHLS)

10.10 Overview of the day (Annette Jäckle, UKHLS)

10.25 – 11.45 Active methods (Chaired by Jon Burton, UKHLS)

10.25 Millennium Cohort Study (Lisa Calderwood (presenter), Emla Fitzsimons, and Emily Gilbert): Design and implementation of a time use diary app in the Age 14 Survey of the Millennium Cohort Study

10.40 UK Household Longitudinal Study (Annette Jäckle): Participation in a mobile app survey to collect expenditure data: response rates and response biases

10.55 Panel ‘Labour Market and Social Security’ (Sebastian Bähr): Enriching an ongoing panel survey with mobile phone measures: The MoDeM study

11.10 IPSOS (Steven Ginnis): Mobile-based geo-triggered surveys: Experiences from the field

11.25 Discussion

11.45 Coffee

12.00 – 13.05 Passive methods to measure human interactions and the environment

(Chaired by Mai Stafford, MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, UCL)

12.00 Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (Melanie Lewcock):Through babies’ eyes: practical and theoretical considerations of using wearable technology to measure parent-infant behaviour from the mothers’ and infants’ view points

12.15 HomeSense (Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir): Using sensors to identify activity types and interactions in households

12.30 Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (Jez Zahra): Incorporating wearable air monitors into a research study of young children: reflections from parents and researchers

12.45 Discussion

13.05 Lunch

13.55 – 15.00 Passive methods GPS based (Chaired by Lisa Calderwood, Centre for Longitudinal, Studies, UCL)

13.55 Studying Physical Activity in Children’s Environments across Scotland (Paul McCrorie): Integrating GPS technology into large scale, population level, data collections: practical utility for science, and concerns and considerations regarding its application in 10-11 year old children

14.10 NatCen Social Research (Alun Humphrey): A comparison of self-reported travel behaviour with GPS data: findings from an experiment on the National Travel Survey

14.25 Kantar Public (Helen Angle): When self-report is not enough – measuring unconscious behaviour change in response to a campaign designed to change where people brake at bends on country roads

14.40 Discussion

15.00 Key research needs (Mick Couper)


15.30 Close



Abstracts for each presentation are available to view here.


If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Jennie Blows (