Academic awarded funding for involvement in global sensor data project

Dr Alex Rowlands

A researcher based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre has received international funding for his participation in a project that aims to analyse the health benefits of wearable technology. 

Dr Alex Rowlands has been awarded £265,000 from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for his involvement in ‘Learning network for Advanced Behavioural Data Analysis’ (LABDA) – a Horizon Europe project looking to establish new techniques for advanced 24/7 movement behaviour data analysis of sensor-based data. 

The LABDA project will train 13 doctoral fellows across five countries with expertise in human movement science, epidemiology, and public health to develop and use multi-model data for predicting health risks.

The methods developed by the researchers will lead to improved, personalised public health recommendations and better personal wearable feedback involving 24/7 movement behaviour. 

Dr Alex Rowlands, Associate Professor in the Diabetes Centre at the University of Leicester, said: “Receiving funding for this international project is a significant milestone as this support will enable us to delve deeper into the realm of advanced 24/7 movement behaviour data analysis using sensor-based data.

“Our aim is to develop innovative methods that will revolutionise the way we understand and harness the potential of wearable devices in promoting health and wellbeing.”

He added: “This funding not only validates the importance of this research but also showcases the global recognition of wearable technology’s transformative impact on healthcare. 

“We are immensely grateful for this funding and we are excited to contribute to the advancement of this field.” 

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK. Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth. 

Professor Melanie Davies CBE, co-founder of the world-renowned Leicester Diabetes Centre (LDC), said: “We are delighted that one of our esteemed researchers, Alex Rowlands, has been granted funding from Horizon Europe for his invaluable contribution to a ground-breaking project on wearable technology. 

 “This achievement not only highlights the exceptional talent within our team, but it also underscores the international recognition of our expertise in the field.” 

LDC is answering the global challenge of type 2 diabetes and long-term conditions through world-leading research, education and innovation. 

Based at Leicester General Hospital, the 3,000m2 centre is a unique collaboration between the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Founded in 2012, the centre is home to the award-winning DESMOND and EDEN programmes; that ensure the findings of LDC’s innovative research continues to achieve impact beyond the research setting.