South West Anaesthesia Research Matrix


AFAR- Accelerometers for Assessing Recovery.

Can an accelerometer be used as an objective, patient-centred, endpoint tool for measuring recovery from anaesthesia in the natural environment; a pilot study for SWARM.

Following her winning pitch at the Hive of Ideas at the 2017 SWARM AGM, Dr Anna Ratcliffe is Chief Investigator of this NIAA funded CRN portfolio project.

Wearable accelerometers are novel technology to measure activity, including mobilisation, and sleep. AFAR is a pilot study which aims to assess the feasibility of accelerometer methodology to measure the success of perioperative care from the patient perspective, objectively and in the natural environment.  We aim to gain experience with this technology, and test a methodology that could be deployed at scale across our SWARM research network.  

We will be using an open-source wrist-worn triaxial accelerometer (activity AX3), developed by the Open Lab a computer research group at Newcastle University, with whom we will also collaborate for data analysis.  

We hope that this collaboration will not only work towards the development of a novel tool to measure quality of recovery, but also be an introduction to the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in medical research for SWARM..

This pilot project will be  adopted.  

As of January 2019 both Plymouth and Truro have been recruiting patients, and the 6 month study period runs until the 11th May 2019. As of 1st February 2019 Truro has reached and exceeded its recruitment target of 10 patients, and Plymouth is well on track to recruit a combined total of 50 patients.

For more info contact Anna Ratcliffe (

  • ​Research MOT session at NRCM Meeting, Birmingham, 2018 (Anna Ratcliffe)
  • ​SWARM RTS 2018 (Anna Ratcliffe)
  • BJA Reasearch Forum - Hughes Medal winner