Joanne Taylor’s blog: 8th November 2016
The #datasaveslives Community Reporter project
My name is Joanne and I am a geriatrician, which is a trainee hospital doctor specialising in care for older people. I started working with Sabine at the Health eResearch Centre (HeRC) last year, hoping to boost interest in technology-based public health research involving older citizens. Since then, we have worked on a number of projects, trying to learn more about how health data research can improve health and wellbeing in later life. I provide my experiences as a doctor, and Sabine contributes her skills and knowledge as a researcher. We then got chatting to community groups such as Inspiring Communities in Salford and AgeUK Manchester at Crossacres, and before you know it – we had a public engagement project!
The #datasaveslives Community Reporter scheme has been the first public engagement project I’ve been involved in. We are now roughly half way through, and I am happy to report it is all going very well. ‘Health data’ can seem like an abstract concept, even to a clinician. However, during our first group session at Crossacres on 19th October, all the volunteers quickly picked up on our theme, and shared some really insightful personal stories. The volunteers were then sent out into the community centre to record video interviews with members of the public, using the topic of health data. The results brought us all out in uncontrollable giggles! But there was also some amazingly high quality video content to view.
The second session was a bit of a crash course in video editing. Our trainer – Hannah from Macc – patiently guided everyone through the software and demonstrated how to create a polished final film. The training is now complete, and the newly qualified Community Reporters at Crossacres will be interviewing local members of the senior exercise class next week as their first assignment. Based on today’s progress, I can’t wait to see what they come back with.
9th November 2016
Today we handed out activity trackers to three volunteers from the local ‘Active for over 50s’ exercise class, as arranged by Eileen. Kim filmed the session, now looking like a true professional behind the camera. I explained the project, and then Eileen, Kim and Kath showed each volunteer how to use the watches. Soon I will be out of a job! It was great to see them taking control.
The exercise class volunteers will come back next week to be interviewed by our new Crossacres Community Reporters.
16th November 2016
Our three volunteers from the ‘Active for over 50s’ exercise class returned to Crossacres to be interviewed by the Community Reporters.
Kim did the filming, whilst Eileen and Kath led the group discussion. All of them agreed that activity trackers could be useful to monitor health, especially for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart problems. There was a lively discussion about the perceived accuracy of the devices especially surrounding sleep, which seemed to be a recurring theme! We had a chat about how activity trackers may alter behaviour, and the pros and cons of seeing your own health data.
And that was the final session at Crossacres! Just want to say a big thank you to all of our volunteers – it has been a fantastic experience working with everyone, and I can’t wait for our ‘film night’ once all the videos have been edited.