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Cambridge Public Health


Kirsten is an epidemiologist based in the MRC Epidemiology Unit and the Health Systems Design group, Department of Engineering. Her research focuses on the incorporation of remote monitoring in population-based and patient studies, including apps and wearables, with the aim of improving clinical pathways and health outcomes.

What is your research about?

My research focusses on using features of objective physiological measurements, such as heart rate, to derive novel biomarkers. These biomarkers can then be used to assess aspects of physical activity and function, ultimately aiming to optimise clinical pathways and improve health outcomes.

What are you working on now?

I am using wrist-worn wearable devices to monitor physical activity and functioning of individuals with end-stage renal disease in their homes. The goal is to determine if these devices can help identify patients who may be at risk of frailty, allowing for early intervention.

I am collaborating with clinical teams to extend this research to other diseases and conditions, working closely with colleagues in the Health Systems Design group. Together, we aim to assess how implementing this technology may affect clinical care pathways and healthcare systems.



I am also working on the population-based Fenland study – a large study exploring metabolic diseases in participants from across Cambridgeshire. For this study I am the principal investigator, responsible for introducing and developing methods for remote data collection and participant health feedback using digital tools, including a bespoke study app.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I find the translational aspects of my work very exciting – what impact this technology and implementation could have on patient care and early identification of patients at risk of health issues.

I also love working with such a diverse group of people, from clinicians, patients, app developers, software engineers, and researchers from psychologists to engineers.

Kirsten Rennie

Role: Senior Research Associate

Research interests: Diet and nutrition, Physical activity measurement, Mobiles and Wearables, Public Health