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WMG research helps expand Sweatcoin capabilities

Researchers at our Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH) have been working, with the health and fitness app Sweatcoin, to develop a new verification process that will now allow indoor steps to be tracked for the first time.

Sweatcoin monitors steps throughout the day, via an app downloaded to a smartphone. Users are rewarded with one Sweatcoin (SWC) per every 1,000 steps. The digital currency can then be redeemed for items including magazines, clothing, music downloads and even televisions.

Previously the app was only capable of tracking outdoor steps - a big disadvantage for those with active jobs indoors or even those using the gym.

The 12-month project, funded by Innovate UK, collected large amounts of data from the sensors built into smartphones in parallel with step-count data recorded using high accuracy activity monitors. Researchers on the project then used this data to create a new step-verification model to work in any environment, not just outdoors.

Crucially researchers were also able to determine the level of physical activity behaviour change by analysing the activity data from a large sample of Sweatcoin users.

Dr Mark ElliotDr Mark Elliott, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Technologies and Behaviour Change at the IDH, said: "Sweatcoin's main aim is to motivate people to be more active, so it was a very positive result when our analyses found that a user being classed as overweight was one of the predictors of them substantially increasing their step count after downloading the app. This suggests the app is effective in motivating those who were fairly inactive beforehand.”

Sweatcoin has recently been named as the fastest growing health and fitness app in history. During the course of this project alone Sweatcoin has grown from 300,000 registered users to over 13 million and spent a number of weeks as the number one app in both the UK and US app store charts.