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FAQs

Still have questions? No problem, you’ll be able to find all the information you need below.

General FAQs

What is an accelerometer?

An accelerometer measures acceleration of a moving or vibrating object. It can accurately measure human behaviour and report everyday living and lifestyle metrics such as physical activity, sedentary behaviours, sleep patterns and changes in behaviour.

What is the difference between objective and subjective data?

Subjective data is reported and recalled from the patient’s own point of view. For example, feelings, perceptions, and concerns. Objective data is something that can be accurately measured and reported, for example, sleep duration. This can be collected using an accelerometer device such as the GENEActiv.

Why is raw data beneficial in actigraphy?

The significant advantage of collecting raw data using GENEActiv is the richness of data gathered. It provides unfiltered data and allows you to re-visit data sets for comparison years later. It also allows you to use any statistics package you are familiar with for data analysis, which is another benefit of the GENEActiv being open source.

Why is objective lifestyle data valuable?

Lifestyle is the most common factor in the prevention, treatment and management of many non-communicable disease conditions. Accurately understanding the patterns of our activity, sleep, work and leisure is crucial to making changes for the better.

What is R?

R is a free software programming language for statistical computing and graphics for data analysis. GENEActiv raw data can be analysed in R and we encourage researchers to share new algorithms to enhance the open source environment.

What hours of support do you offer?

Our team are on-hand to support you between the hours of 8am-5pm UK time.

However, we are incredibly flexible in this nature and happy to take calls outside of these hours, if arranged in advance. We are renowned for our direct, personal communications in a timely responsive manner throughout studies and similarly try to respond to emails within 48 hours.

GENEActiv

General FAQs
How do I charge my GENEActiv device?

For Practitioners

Once you have received your GENEActiv device(s), allow them to fully charge in the cradle for 3 hours before configuring with the software.

This can be done via the USB port on your computer or using a USB wall plug. We recommend using a wall plug when charging your devices so that it does not interfere with the GENEActiv software. It is essential that the power supply provides 500mA on every port to ensure the devices fully charge.

A red light on the device will indicate that the device is charging. After 3 hours, a green light will flash. This indicates that you can now connect the device to the software to ensure the battery is full and the device is ready for configuration. The LED lights are just visual indicators - it is essential to check the battery level in the GENEActiv PC software for a reliable reading. When fully charged, unplug, and remove from the cradle if not configuring straight away.

It is important that GENEActiv devices are charged every 2 months for 3 hours to maintain good battery health, even when not in use.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT leave GENEActiv devices on charge for longer than 3 hours at a time. Following a full 3 hour charge, the GENEActiv should have over 90% battery prior to deployment.

 

For Participants

Once you have received your device from your practitioner, you will not need to charge it. This will have already been done for you and the battery will last for the duration of the study.

How do I know when the device is charging?

When a unit is placed in the cradle and it is charging correctly the red light will flash (for 3 hours). The LED light will flash red or green to indicate it is charging. Any other LED light activity or inactivity indicates that the unit is not correctly seated in the cradle and the unit should be removed and then replaced.

Once the unit has been fully charged for 3 hours, the battery status should be checked by the software. It is then ready for immediate configuration and deployment. Otherwise, it should be removed from the cradle for storage.

What is the battery life of GENEActiv?

The battery life of GENEActiv is determined by the measurement frequency selected to record. For example, recording at 100Hz lasts for 7 days and 20Hz records for 30 days.

It is important that GENEActiv devices are charged every 2 months for 3 hours to maintain good battery health, even when not in use.

How many units can the charging cradle hold?

The charging cradle holds 4 GENEActiv units.

Is the GENEActiv waterproof?

Yes, the GENEActiv is fully waterproof up to 10m (IP – 1m for 24 hours). Users can therefore swim and shower whilst wearing the device. The device should be removed when entering a sauna, however.

Is the device safe to wear alongside other medical equipment?

Yes, the device is safe to wear alongside other medical equipment. The GENEActiv does not contain magnets and will not interfere with other equipment, such as pacemakers and blood pressure monitors. You should however take the device off for an MRI scan.

Can I travel through airport security with the GENEActiv?

It is safe to take the GENEActiv through airport security and can be worn like a watch as normal. During the flight, it must be worn on the wrist or stored in carry-on luggage and not put in the hold.

What happens if I return my device to the cradle while it is collecting data?

Once you have configured your device, if you put the unit back into the cradle once it has started recording, it will cease recording and its current data will be lost. You should only return the device back to the cradle once data collection is complete.

What does the temperature measure indicate?

The linear active thermister temperature sensor measures near-body temperature which is influenced by both the wearer and environment. The device has a range of 0 – 60 degrees Celsius, taking measurements a minimum of every 30 seconds.

Are the algorithms adjustable?

The data you get from GENEActiv is the raw data so you can apply any algorithm you like to the data.

What age group is the GENEActiv suitable for?

The GENEActiv is for everybody. GENEActiv has been deployed in many baby, child, adult, and elderly studies around the world. We also offer various adjustable straps which can be useful for different age groups and allow the device to be used in multiple body locations.

Is the GENEActiv validated?

Yes, the GENEActiv is widely validated by researchers across the globe. Please visit our publications section for more information.

Where can the GENEActiv be worn?

Typically, most studies are carried out with the device worn on the wrist. However, we offer different strap options in a range of materials so that the device can be used in multiple body locations including waist, ankle and chest.

How do I clean the device and its cradle?

To clean the GENEActiv, wipe with a cloth or scrub with a soft bristle brush using warm soapy water or a mild detergent solution and allow to air dry. Alcohol wipes and mild sterilising solutions are also appropriate.

To disinfect the GENEActiv, use a Clinell Universal Wipe or equivalent product. Thoroughly cover and wipe the device so all surfaces are wetted. Ensure the device is allowed time to air dry completely before next use. Change the wipe if it becomes dry or soiled and dispose of it appropriately.

If the GENEActiv is excessively soiled, we recommend removing the wrist strap to clean the parts separately. Should wrist straps become increasingly worn, additional straps can be purchased and easily replaced.

The charging cradle can be cleaned with a dry cloth.

How should I store my GENEActiv device?

GENEActiv units should be stored at temperatures between 5-35 degrees Celsius to ensure optimal battery life.

IMPORTANT: It is important that GENEActiv devices are charged every 2 months for 3 hours to maintain good battery health, even when not in use.

Why is my device is no longer recognised by the software?

The software may not recognise the device due to lack of charge, a poor connection or because the device has gone into reset mode.

The GENEActiv includes protective circuitry which prevents it connecting to the GENEActiv PC Software if the battery is not sufficiently charged. This prevents data loss which could occur if the GENEActiv battery ran out of power during extraction. Ensure the GENEActiv is regularly charged to allow it to connect to the software on demand. Please see ‘how to charge my device’ for best practice on charging the GENEActiv.

The device may not be connecting due to one of the following three reasons:

Insufficient Battery
There is insufficient battery life in the device. This is prevalent in devices that have not been charged or used regularly and it may have gone into reset mode. Charging a device once may not be enough to take it out of reset mode.

Poor Connection
The GENEActiv charges and connects to the software through the gold contacts on the device and the gold pins in the charging cradle.

  • Ensure all 8 contacts and pins are clean and free from any residue. Please see our cleaning guidance above.
  • Try removing and re-entering the device into the charging cradle. The device needs to be seated correctly and should clip into the charging cradle with an audible click.
  • Try a different position in the charging cradle as any damage or wear to the gold pins or clear plastic clips on the charging cradle may impair the connection.
  • Do NOT move or disturb the cradle whilst connected to the PC software or whilst charging.

USB Error

If neither the battery nor connection are the cause, the device may have seen a rare USB error. USB errors are often accompanied by a constant red light on the device.

How to Take the Device out of Reset Mode

There is a simple process that can be followed to take the device out of reset mode. This should not affect the data on the device and once out of reset mode, data should be available to download as normal.

  • Give the device(s) a full charge by placing it in the charging cradle for 3 hours (preferably via a USB wall plug).
  • Once complete, remove the device(s) from the charging cradle and set aside overnight (this is important).
  • The next day, give the device(s) a second full charge in the cradle for a further 3 hours.
  • The device should now be out of reset mode. It should now connect to the software as intended. You can check the battery status of the device via the GENEActiv software.
  • Once out of reset mode, you should complete a 7-day test by following the instructions below.

 

If you continue to experience issues with charging or connecting devices to the software please contact us via email.

Following a reset, how can I ensure my device is working correctly?

After resetting your device(s), we recommend that you carry out a 7-day test to ensure your device is collecting data correctly.

To do this, configure a fully charged GENEActiv to collect data at 100Hz for 7 days.

After 7 days of data has been collected, connect the GENEActiv to the software. Check that 90% of the memory has been used and that the device has an acceptable amount of battery left. We would normally expect devices to have around 40% battery remaining after a 7-day test (this may vary depending on the age of the device).

If both the battery and memory are working as expected, you can then reconfigure your device to be used again in the field.

Software FAQs
What is the GENEActiv software?

The GENEActiv PC software is open source. It allows you to set up the device and extract raw data as a .bin file. The software offers capabilities to convert this into .csv compressed epoch files, which are readable in Excel. The raw data .bin files and .csv epoch files provide endless further analysis opportunities using analysis packages you are familiar with such as R and Matlab.

How long does the data take to download?

The download can take up to 20 minutes for 4 units with full data collection.

Why will the software not install onto Windows 10?

If you are having installation problems, follow the troubleshooting steps below:

  • Download latest version of the GENEActiv software and drivers from our website and save them to your Desktop.
  • Extract the folders to your Desktop and install the software
  • Connect the cradle via the USB port
  • Insert device into cradle
  • Navigate to Drivers folder
  • Double left click ‘install.bat’

 

If the device still does not appear in software, it is likely that the drivers have not installed correctly. If this is the case:

 

  • Open Device Manager on your computer
  • Find the GENEActiv device, which should be listed as Geneactiv_01
  • Right click the device and select ‘Update Drivers’
  • Point the installation dialog to the drivers folder on the desktop
  • Drivers should then install
  • Device manager should now list the device as GENEActiv V1.1
  • The device should now appear in the software

Activinsights Band

General FAQs
What does the Activinsights Band record?

It measures movement and provides lifestyle analysis based on scientifically validated algorithms to give data around physical activity and sleep. The Activinsights Band detects up to 12 basic activities with estimates of steps, movement and energy expenditure.

What is the difference between the Activinsights Band and GENEActiv?

The Activinsights Band is designed for healthcare professionals looking to gain objective lifestyle information as part of screening or behaviour change programme in patients. It is suitable for long-term, continuous, and remote data collection with low subject burden.

The GENEActiv is designed for academic researchers as a general purpose objective measurement tool, who would like to gain high frequency, raw data. This enables unlimited analysis opportunities and the development of digital biomarkers relevant for specific populations and therapeutic conditions.

The Activinsights team can help advise on which device is best suited to your study or project.

Is the Activinsights Band waterproof?

Yes, it is fully waterproof and robust so participants can swim, shower or bathe with the device on. There should be no reason at all to remove the device for the entire measurement period. The only exceptions are if the participant enters a sauna, has an MRI scan or goes through airport security.

Is the device safe to wear alongside other medical equipment?

Yes, the device is safe to wear alongside other medical equipment. The Activinsights Band will not interfere with other equipment, such as pacemakers and blood pressure monitors. The device should be removed for a medical scan, however.

What age group is the Activinsights Band suitable for?

The Activinsights Band is suitable for everybody and can be worn by both children and adults.

How often do I need to charge the Activinsights Band?

The Activinsights Band has a battery life of up to 1 year so no charging is required.

Where can the Activinsights Band be worn?

The Activinsights Band can only be worn on the wrist. If you are looking for a device to measure movement in other body locations, the GENEActiv would be more suitable.

How should I clean the Activinsights Band?

To clean the Activinsights Band, wipe with a cloth or scrub with a soft bristle brush using warm soapy water or a mild detergent solution and allow to air dry. Alcohol wipes and mild sterilising solutions are also appropriate. To disinfect, use a Clinell Universal Wipe or equivalent product. Thoroughly cover and wipe the device so all surfaces are wetted and allow to air dry.

 

IMPORTANT: Do not use hot water, scouring pads, abrasive cleaning agents or aggressive liquids (such as petroleum-based solvents, acetone, and strong alkaline cleaners) on the device. Do not spray perfumes or put lotions directly on the device.

How should I store the Activinsights Band?

When not in use, keep the device in the Activinsights box in a dry and safe location at temperatures between 5 – 35°C.

Software & App FAQs
What is the Activinsights Band software?

Access to the Activinsights Band software for up to one year is included with the purchase of the Activinsights Band. The software allows you to quickly set up devices, upload data and generate instant lifestyle reports. Access to unlimited lifestyle reports can be provided on an annual, renewable basis.

What PC specifications are required for using the Activinsights Band software and app?

The minimum specification for the PC is Windows 7, 64 bit.

How often do I need to upload my data?

The data collected should be uploaded via the app at least once a week.

How long does it take to upload data?

Uploading the data via the Activinsights App should take no more than two minutes.

What if the data will not upload?

If you are experiencing difficulties uploading data or making the device connect to the PC, then please contact your study site directly. For sites, please contact us and send us a support file from the ‘settings’ tab of the software.

My device won’t connect to the app. Is this a problem with the Bluetooth connection?

If there is a problem with the Bluetooth, the symbol will be a ‘grey’ colour when opening the software. When the Bluetooth symbol is blue this means that the device is ready to connect. It will change from blue, to grey and then green once the software has found the Activinsights Band.

If your PC has existing Bluetooth capacity, you do not need a dongle. Using it may stop the system from working.

How do I renew the Activinsights Band and data services after 1 year?

The Activinsights Band has a one-year battery life with unlimited data services during that time, so they can be stored until the next use. After one year, devices can be replaced with continued access to the data services (if appropriate). Please contact us for a range of cost-effective renewal options.

GENEActiv

Designed for public health research and clinical trials, the GENEActiv is a lightweight and waterproof raw data accelerometer.
Find out more

Activinsights Band

The Activinsights Band is a low-burden, continuous assessment tool providing in-field, wireless data transfers for up to a year without the need for charging.
Find out more
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