Activity Monitoring

SUMMARY: Increased physical activity and exercise have been found to reduce falls and decrease mortality and age-related morbidity in older adults. However, a large percentage of this population fail to achieve the necessary levels of activity needed to support health living. This research involved the development of a mobile app (iOS platform) that monitors activity levels using accelerometry.

METHODS: The data captured by the sensor (accelerometer) was utilized to estimate gross activity level of person carry the iPod Touch device. In addition to capturing this data, real-time motivational feedback was provided to enable reinforcement of positive behaviors in older adults.

CONCLUSIONS: Pilot experiments (conducted with younger adults) performed to assess validity of activity measurement showed that system accurately measured sedentary, light, moderate and vigorous activities in a controlled lab setting. Pilot tests (conducted with older adults) in the user setting showed that while the app is adept at capturing gross body activity (such as sitting, walking and jogging), additional sensors may be required to capture activities involving the extremities.

ROLE: Application Developer

STATUS: In Publishing


  • OpenFrameworks (C++) libraries for iOS on X-Code Platform
  • iPod Touch (3rd Generation)


  • [JOURNAL ARTICLE] McMahon S, Vankipuram M, Fleury J, “Mobile Computer Application for Promoting Physical Activity: A Case Study” [IN DRAFT]
  • [CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS] Vankipuram M, McMahon S, Fleury J, “ReadySteady: App for Accelerometer-based Activity Monitoring and Wellness-Motivation Feedback System for Older Adults”, American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium, (2012). [Download PDF]
  • [CONFERENCE PODIUM PRESENTATION] McMahon S, Vankipuram M, Fleury J, “Integrating technology into a wellness motivation intervention: Theory based design”, Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) Annual Research Conference, (2012).
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