HKPC Promotes the Development of Gerontechnology with “Smart Elderly Health Care Monitoring System” Addressing Operation Concerns of Elderly Homes
(Hong Kong, 16 July 2021) With population ageing becoming more pressing, there are concerns about elderly care and living and the healthcare system and related services face enormous pressure. The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) has developed a “Smart Elderly Health Care Monitoring System” to monitor the physical conditions of elderly home residents, providing real-time health data to a centralised system and their relatives for record-keeping purposes. The system is currently on preliminary trial at Pine Villa, Lohas Park.
The home’s person-in-charge, Mr Ngai, said, “Staff at the home are very busy. Apart from taking care of the daily life of the residents, they have to closely monitor their health conditions. As the condition and needs of each resident vary, the traditional ploy of daily health assessment and data input manually is very time consuming. “Smart Elderly Health Care Monitoring System” connects up devices such as sphygmomanometer, blood glucose meter, pulse oximeter, data will be sent to system instantly via Bluetooth soon after staff performed health measurement with residents enabling timely follow-up. It significantly raisesmanagement efficiency and enhances flexibility on manpower arrangement and better resident care.”
Dr Lawrence Cheung, Chief Innovation Officer of HKPC, said, “Internet of Things and designated applications are adopted to collect health data of the elderly leveraging artificial intelligence and logical calculations. The smart use of technology allows staff to pre-estimate the health conditions of the elderly and thus can help reduce the risk of accidents. Elderly homes fitted with smart sensors can even trace the real-time locations of the residents to ensure their safety and prevent them from getting lost. If residents are found to be in danger, the system will raise the alarm instantly for staff to monitor their locations and conditions, thereby improving the care process and providing higher quality of care services.”
In recent years, HKPC actively promotes the development and application of gerontechnology. It set up Hong Kong’s first gerontechnology industry cluster, GLink, in 2019 to leverage advanced technologies to address the daily needs of elderly for a better elderly care environment. It also strives to engage with the industries and community to promote the development of gerontechnology in order to realise a smart ageing community. At present, GLink has been supported by over 100 organisations and enterprises, providing consultancy services to local companies and non-government organisations on operation and service quality improvement. Services include design and localisation of gerontechnology products, application for relevant funding, technology testing and certification support, user experience enhancement, etc. Supported by the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund), the initiative has benefited over 40 organisations so far, fostering the development of the gerontechnology ecosystem.
Dr Cheung said, “Through the establishment of GLink, HKPC hopes to utilise cross-sector synergy to promote ‘smart ageing’, applying smart technology to enhance the quality of living of the elderly as well as address the manpower shortage problem. GLink also regularly organises various activities to strengthen the understanding of both the demand and supply sides on technology needs in order to improve user experience.”
In June this year, HKPC invited representatives of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) to two sessions of “5G Future Gerontechnology Application Tour and Sharing Seminar” to learn about the 5G base station inside HKPC building which is home to three different spectrums and four 5G operators, and the latest applications of 5G technology in the community such as the “MiniMover” – Autonomous Delivery Mover, “HORIZON” – bed transfer wheelchair, “Sirius” – the first Robotic Flexible Endoscope System, Real-time Monitoring System, etc. A service organisation representative said, “The tour helps us to discover the boundless possibilities of gerontechnology in improving elderly care services. For example, the “HORIZON” can automatically extend to become a flat bed which allows frail elders to move across beds easily. It no longer requires two to three staff for the task while lessening the psychological burden and embarrassment of the elderly, bringing tremendous benefits to the healthcare industry.”
The SIE Fund launched a project named Gerontechnology Platform in 2021. As the intermediary of the Platform, HKCSS believed service organisations must grasp the development and application of technology in order to move with the times and leverage technology to ease the stress of employees and provide more reliable and safer services with better quality. Besides, to address the impact of the pandemic on the industry, HKCSS is actively exploring the demand for remote services with 5G technology set to play an important role in their future development.
For more information about HKPC’s services and support in gerontechnology, please call 2788 5350 or send an email to GeronTech@hkpc.org.
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