The use of wearable activity trackers in older adults with cardiovascular disease

Presenter: Nicola Straiton, Australian Clinical Trials Alliance

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About the presentation

Healthy ageing has evolved from simply a desire to increase life expectancy, to more aspirational aims of avoiding disease, preserving physical functioning, and allowing an independent engagement with life. Compelling evidence from meta-analyses and Cochrane reviews demonstrate the benefits of exercise, especially when physical activity is planned, structured, and underpinned by the goal to improve or maintain physical fitness, performance, and health for older people. 

Digital health technologies, such as wearable activity trackers, provide unique opportunities to understand, investigate, and promote sustainable physical activity in older people, in particular for those with chronic health conditions (i.e. cardiovascular disease). Yet despite the growing use of wearable activity trackers amongst the broader Australian community, more research is needed to understand issues of usability, accuracy and validity, and acceptability amongst older adults with cardiovascular disease.

About the presenter

Nicola Straiton is a registered nurse and has held roles in the clinical research sector for more than a decade. She now works as a Project Manager at the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA), the peak body advancing the investigator-led clinical trials sector across Australia. The main ACTA programs she is involved in are ‘Embedding Clinical Trials in Routine Care’ and ‘Strengthening Consumer Engagement in Clinical Trials’. She was the lead project manager who worked with an expert group to deliver the Consumer Involvement and Engagement Toolkit, a digital repository to help researchers and research organisations develop and conduct more patient-centric clinical trials. Separately her clinical and academic career centres on understanding and supporting cardiovascular disease patients and their families, as demonstrated in her PhD ‘exploring patient reported outcomes post novel heart valve surgery’. She is interested in cardiovascular disease, digital health and consumer engagement.


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