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Building Hong Kong into an age-friendly city

PolyU promotes gerontechnology to ensure quality of life for the elderly


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The challenges of an increasingly ageing population are global and there is no exception in Hong Kong. The projection from the Census and Statistics Department of the HKSAR Government is that the proportion of the population aged 65 or above will reach 34% by 2064. Our society not only faces increasing demand for health care resources but also requires new innovations and long-term approaches that can enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of its elderly citizens.

To address this challenge, PolyU launched its Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub project in 2017, with the generous support of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The project’s mission is to closely cooperate with cross-sector professionals, raise public awareness about the initiative and apply new form of technology, known as gerontechnology, to the care and support of the elderly, thus improving their quality of life.

With the hub nominated as a project under the HKSAR Chief Executive’s Community List, PolyU is grateful that it has been given the opportunity to further its mission to “pursue impactful research that benefits the community”.

Dr Rosanna Wong, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, was very pleased that the Club's Charities Trust was collaborating with PolyU in the Hub. She remarks,

It has been actively supporting and initiating a number of pilot projects for the elderly with an aim to build Hong Kong into an age-friendly city.

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The aim of the Hub is to showcase cutting-edge gerontechnology and related products to raise public awareness about the benefits of applying innovative technology to realise “Ageing in Place” and “Continuum of Care” for the elderly. It also provides a platform for academics, healthcare professionals, care service providers and technology developers to join together in developing innovative products specifically designed with the elderly in mind. 

By drawing on the extensive experience of PolyU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering – covering medical technology, rehabilitation and nursing – the University is using the Hub to develop cross-disciplinary collaborations and promote gerontechnology products to the broader elderly community in Hong Kong.

PolyU has established a Day Experience Centre on campus to showcase gerontechnology products that can help in areas of daily life such as clothing, dining, mobility, personal hygiene, safety and health management. The Centre also includes a model smart home, built to scale, to provide visitors with firsthand experience of adopting gerontechnology solutions or products in daily life. 

Innovative technologies from the Department of Biomedical Engineering are also demonstrated in the Centre. These include the eNightLog system, which monitors the bed-leaving status of elderly with dementia, smart interactive dolls and other gerontechnology products designed for improving the safety, mobility, and rehabilitation of the elderly in their homes. The Centre is open to the public and serves as an experimental environment for students taking the “Technologies for Smart Ageing” course to test their innovative technological solutions.

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Publishing date: December 2019

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