The Clockwork project finished its second and final pilot obtaining highly positive impacts on the self-reflection of shift workers by making available information about physical activity and sleep rhythms it enables the users to assess and even change their sleep habits. The results of the pilots, used in real-world scenarios, provide evidence that the system can help shift workers improving their sleep.
The main goal of the Clockwork project was to support shift workers in understanding and reflecting about their habits and routines. The solution targeted shift workers, such as healthcare professionals, who rotate shifts and often work during the night, when the body is programmed to sleep. These users are often affected by disrupted sleep schedules, which leads to health issues, long absences, and/or early retirement.
The Clockwork system is composed by a smart badge and a smartphone application for shift workers, and a Box for measuring environmental conditions, such as light exposure, temperature and noise. The smart badge monitors activity and light exposure using accelerometers and light sensors. The collected data is presented to the users in an app, where they can also log on their work and sleep schedule, so that they can be aware of their physical condition and sleep rhythms.
In this 2nd Pilot Study of Clockwork, the system was tested in Portugal and Italy. In Portugal, these pilot studies were conducted in two hospitals, Hospital da CUF Porto and Hospital da CUF Viseu, both from José de Mello Saúde SA, and in Italy in a rehabilitation centre, Comunità di Riabilitazione Psico-sociale "Il Casone". During the pilots, 8 shift workers participated in this pilot study, 4 nurses and 4 nurse assistants.
In this 2nd Pilot Study, that lasted 2 months, the Clockwork system has proven to be very robust, working without relevant technical constraints, which allowed shift workers to remain motivated to use the system over time. In fact, besides allowing for data to be collected, the system also had the capability to create awareness of the shift worker’s daily habits and in some cases promote behavioural changes (e.g. people going to sleep earlier).
All this means that Clockwork is having a real impact, by encouraging healthcare shift workers to become aware of their physical activity and sleep rhythms, and to reflect about their work and lifestyle, using technology.
Coordinated by Fraunhofer AICOS, the Clockwork project is being developed by a consortium that gathers 5 countries, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Italy, and Spain. Besides Fraunhofer AICOS and José de Mello Saúde SA, the consortium includes Ab.Acus Srl, BCB – Informática y Control SL, Grado Zero Espace Srl, KOHS PIMEX – Kviecien Occupational Health Solutions and RK Tech Ltd.