Chapter 3 Implementation

3.1 Data Collection

We discuss key considerations for data collection taking into account the study design, sample source and characteristics, and the type of wearable, sensor or app used. We include data collection case study examples from research studies that have been conducted using WAS in population-based research.

3.2 Logistics

We provide an overview of the various logistical considerations when using WAS in data collection including the method of providing the device (i.e., participant-owned device vs study device provided to participants), considerations regarding app download, important aspects of data security and storage to consider from the onset, as well as options for accessing the data from the various devices. We include examples from actual data collection efforts.

3.3 Costs

We discuss the cost considerations related to various consumer- and research-grade devices (i.e., Fitbit, Apple Watch, Actical, etc.) and apps (i.e., build your own vs. off the shelf), as well as data collection costs (including mailing, shipping, etc.) and data storage costs considering the type and size of the data files. We include examples from actual data collection efforts.

3.4 Ethics, informed consent, and legal considerations

We discuss the importance of obtaining consent for the various data collection activities (downloading apps, accessing sensor data, etc.) and clearly describing what data will be shared/accessed in a study and for how long. We will provide examples from different studies on how they approached the collection of informed consent when collecting these data. We will also discuss ethical considerations related to especially sensitive measures (e.g., sound files, data collected at night, etc.) and what can be done to reduce sensitivity for participants (e.g., preprocessing of data on the device, lower sampling rates, allowing participants to review their data and/or request that specific data be deleted). In addition to this focused section on the topic of privacy and ethics, we will discuss the issue in other sections, among others, when we discuss nonparticipation because of privacy concerns.

3.5 References