What is an accelerometer?

An accelerometer measures acceleration of a moving or vibrating object. In research context, it can objectively measure human behaviour.

What is an actigraph?

Actigraphy is a non-invasive, cost-effective method of monitoring human rest/activity cycles and is used to study sleep/wake patterns. It can be worn on a participant’s wrist to continually record movement, therefore measuring gross motor activity. The data can later be transferred to a computer for analysis.

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, another benefit of GENEActiv being open source.

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.

Is GENEActiv waterproof?

Yes, GENEActiv Original, Action and Wireless units are individually test to be fully waterproof up to 10m (IP – 1m for 24 hours). Users can therefore swim and shower whilst wearing the device. However, the GENEActiv Sleep model is only splash proof and should be taken off for swimming and showering.

Can GENEActiv be worn by the children and the elderly respectively?

Yes, GENEActiv is for everybody. GENEActiv is currently deployed in many child, adult and elderly studies around the world. The different adjustable straps available are useful for these different age groups.

What is the GENEActiv software?

All GENEActiv software is open source and therefore free of charge. The software 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.

What is the difference between the GENEActiv products?

Please see our product comparison page.

What hours do you offer phone support?

9am-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 which proves invaluable for our customers.

Is GENEActiv validated?

Yes GENEActiv is widely validated; please visit our publications section for more information

How many units can the charging cradle hold?

The charging cradle holds 4 GENEActiv units.

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.  GENEActiv Original, Action and Wireless have a range of 0 – 60 degrees centigrade taking measurements a minimum of every 30 seconds.

GENEActiv Sleep has an external stainless steel temperature sensor, providing direct skin temperature data recordings.

Is it possible to change the firmware of the units?

Yes, the firmware can be changed but we do not release source code. For more information please contact us directly by emailing info@geneactiv.co.uk.

What is the battery life and duration 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 10Hz records for 45 days.

How long does the data take to download?

The download will take 20 minutes for 4 units with full 7 days data collection.

How do I know when the device is charging?

The device is charged by linking the charger/docking station to your computer via a USB connection. When a unit is placed in the cradle and it is charging correctly the red light will flash (for 3 hours). If the unit is in the cradle and the green light is flashing it has finished charging. Any other light activity or inactivity indicates that the unit is not correctly in the cradle (or there is some other error) and the unit should be removed and then replaced.

If the unit remains in the cradle once charging has been completed the battery will start to be depleted. Once the charge level has dropped by about 10% the unit will automatically start charging again until completely full. During this top-up cycling only the green light will flash.

If I charge it up and continue to wear it will it overwrite the existing data?

If you put the unit back into the charger once it has started recording it will cease recording and its current data will be lost.

How do you create an excel macro report?

As GENEActiv outputs raw data, you are able to carry out analysis using any type of software, including Matlab & R free packages. You can also use Excel macro reports; we provide some standard reports free for you to use – you can download these from our downloads page. In order to use them please follow the instructions below:

  1. Download the data from your device using the GENEActiv software (data extractor tab – see instruction manual for more details).  This will talk you through how to covert and analyse the data.  Once you have converted the data into a .csv epoch file, open up the Excel macro report
  2. Click ‘Import data’ (this is the data you will have downloaded off the device) and insert the .csv epoch file (e.g. 60 seconds) and click Ok.
  3. Click ‘Generate graphs’.  Once the graphs have been generated, you will see a number of tabs along the bottom row of the Excel page – e.g. (‘Front page’, Day graphs, ‘Night graphs’), each displaying the relevant graph.
  4. The report has now been generated and is able to be printed.

A constant red LED signal remains?

The unit may have seen a USB error and has gone into reset mode – if you leave it out of the charger for a few hours the light will go out and then you can charge it as usual. This is an occasional, known condition and we have a fix for this currently on test.

The device is no longer recognized by the software?

The unit may have seen a USB error and has gone into reset mode – if you leave it out of the charger for a few hours the light will go out and it can then be charged as usual. This is an occasional, known condition and we have a fix for this currently on test.

How often should I charge my GENEActiv device?

To ensure the maximum longevity of your GENEActiv devices:

  1. Even when units are not in regular use it is essential the units are charged every 2-3 months and not left charging longer than necessary, to maintain optimum battery life
  2. When placing the GENEActiv device into the charging cradle ensure that the unit ‘clicks’ into place, the device should then start flashing. A red flashing light indicates the device needs charging, a green flashing light indicates that the unit is fully charged. When straps are fitted to the device it is best to unplug the charger at the USB port, then plug all the units into the charger cradle, ‘clicking into place’ and then plug the USB port back into the hub – all units should flash at the same time
  3. Allow GENEActiv devices to charge for at least 3 hours – until the light flashing on the unit changes from red to green
  4. Ensure there is enough power through the USB hub for the individual ports to charge all of the units.  A charger with 4 units requires 500mA (0.5A) – this is the standard for a single port. A powered charger hub will show its total output power on the rating label this needs to be sufficient for all connected chargers.

How should I store my GENEActiv device?

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

How should I clean my GENEActiv device?

  1. Remove the strap from the device to clean separately
  2. We recommend wiping or scrubbing with warm soapy water or a mild detergent solution.  Alcohol wipes and some sterilising solutions are also appropriate.
  3. Do NOT clean with strong alkali solutions or solvents.
  4. Should wrist straps become increasingly worn, additional straps can be purchased and very easily replaced