Koalap: A new smartwatch study exploring the relationship between activity and pain

Posted on July 13, 2017

At present we know very little about how knee osteoarthritis (OA) affects, and is affected by, levels of physical activity. This is despite patients often reporting that the impact of OA on their ability to undertake physical activity can have a significant influence on quality of life.

Koalap (Knee OA: linking activity and pain) is a collaborative sub-study developed in partnership with Google Android Wear that is exploring how smartwatch technology might help us to better understand the relationship between activity and pain.

Building upon research initiated by the Cloudy with a Chance of Pain study, Koalap will allow the research team to get a closer look at the relationship between knee OA symptoms and activity, by gathering passive activity data from smartwatches and using information collected from self-reported questionnaires.

No personal data relating to the study participants is shared with Google.

Who can take part?

We are inviting men or women to join the Cloudy and Koalap projects who:

– have diagnosed knee osteoarthritis;

– are over the age of 50;

– live in the Greater Manchester area;

– own a smartphone

– have had pain for three months or more;


What will the research involve?

– Wearing a smartwatch for three months (this can be removed at night).

– Answer short daily, weekly and monthly questionnaires on the watch and on a smartphone app.

– Attending the University of Manchester on two occasions to:

receive a watch and to be inducted onto the study (on 12, 13 or 14 September)

return the watch (December, exact dates to be confirmed).

A small number of participants will also be given the option of taking part in two more detailed interviews with a researcher at the beginning and end of the study.

If you fit the eligibility criteria above and would like to register an interest in joining the study, please email:

For more information on taking part download the study Participant Information Sheet.

*Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

**This project has been reviewed by the University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee 3.

***Participants will be selected on a first come, first served basis.