PolyU hosts Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub Project Achievement Sharing Day Summarising the fruitful results of six years to promote the application of local gerontechnology
7 Nov 2023
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) hosted the Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub Project Achievement Sharing Day on 3 November 2023, aiming to share the fruitful achievements of the Project with stakeholders in the gerontechnology (gerontech) field. The event brought together cross-disciplinary experts to share their experience and best practices and to discuss the future development of Hong Kong’s gerontech ecosystem.
The welcome ceremony was officiated by Mr Chris SUN, Secretary for Labour and Welfare of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Bryan WONG, Head of Charities (Positive Ageing & Elderly Care) of The Hong Kong Jockey Club and Dr Miranda LOU, PolyU Executive Vice President. The event was attended by more than 300 cross-disciplinary representatives from the gerontech field including stakeholders from the elderly care industry, academia, and the business sector.
An HKSAR Chief Executive’s Community Project since December 2017, the Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub received a donation of over HK$47 million from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and is currently managed by the PolyU Department of Biomedical Engineering. The Project aims to tackle issues related to Hong Kong’s ageing population through the establishment of a cross-disciplinary network, in order to promote not only innovative gerontech solutions for elderly care, but also to enhance quality of life for the elderly.
In her welcome remarks, Dr Lou stated, “PolyU is not an academic silo, but rather an integral part of the Hong Kong community. Whether it is scientific research or knowledge transfer, we must ensure that we contribute to the well-being of Hong Kong citizens. As an international city with an ageing population, we believe that utilising PolyU’s knowledge and technology to address the societal needs of the elderly is the most appropriate strategy for us. The Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub aims to advance gerontech in order to foster a smart and age-friendly community. A Day Experience Centre is located on the PolyU campus to provide information on gerontech for elderly people and caregivers, and six elderly care service and rehabilitation service units have been invited to join as strategic partners in the development of Real-life Hostels. These Hostels are equipped with gerontech to enhance the quality of life for service users, who include the elderly and aged individuals with disabilities. This initiative aims to promote the application of technology in the industry, ultimately optimising the continuum of care.”
In his welcome remarks, Mr Wong stated that The Hong Kong Jockey Club is committed to supporting older people to age with dignity and respect, and working with different partners to improve the elderly’s quality of life. “The Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub Project has made remarkable achievements. We are very grateful for the efforts of the PolyU team and all the organisations and volunteers involved in the project. As gerontech becomes popular, the next step is to enhance the application of these tools. In the next three years, the Club will continue to cooperate with PolyU to improve the services of residential care homes for the elderly through technology,” Mr Wong said.
Enhancing quality of service for the elderly and disabled individuals with gerontech solutions
To improve the continuum of care services for the elderly and individuals with disabilities, the Project aims to reinforce the application of gerontech tools based on the specific needs of each elderly person and disabled service units, and to facilitate on-site visits at the Real-life Hostels by elderly care industry representatives with a view to encouraging the industry to effectively leverage technology to improve service quality. Furthermore, innovative PolyU technology solutions have been implemented in multiple Real-life Hostels. These solutions include the eNightLog bed-leaving monitoring system for enhancing overnight residential services, the smart toilet sensing system to ensure the safety of the elderly during toileting, and a detachable laser indicator to assist older adults in gait training activities. These gerontech solutions have not only benefited 3,500 elderly and disabled individuals, but also alleviated the burden and pressure on frontline healthcare workers. At the same time, through the practical experience of applying gerontech in six Real-life Hostels, the industry has gained valuable reference and insights on the application of gerontech solutions.
Promoting gerontech applications in the community
The Project team has established a Day Experience Centre on the PolyU campus, showcasing over 2,000 gerontech tools collected from around the world and integrated them into a categorised resource library. They have also organised over 1,200 activities for public education on gerontech, including guided tours, workshops and exhibitions. To further enhance public awareness of gerontech in Hong Kong, the Project team regularly organises the “Health Care Day” to provide health assessments, encouraging the public to utilise technology for their own personal health management. They have also collaborated with 12 District Health Centres (DHC) and DHC Expresses to establish “Gerontech Corners” and co-organised 35 thematic exhibitions with over 500 gerontech and assistive devices on show. In addition, community outreach activities have been conducted in partnership with various organisations promoting the use of technology in preventing chronic diseases. The Project has invited around 60 elderly care units to participate in trial programme of the PolyU research achievement the Smart Companion Robot. In total, these various activities have benefited over 40,000 individuals in Hong Kong, contributing to the widespread application of gerontech.
The Project team has made remarkable contributions to the promotion and development of gerontech, earning widespread societal recognition and garnering support from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. In the next three years, the Project team will continue to provide gerontech support to the community and work hand in hand with 11 self-financing residential care homes for the elderly operated by small-to-medium NGOs. This collaboration aims to create more intelligent residential care homes, furthering the advancement of the elderly care industry and the community in embracing gerontech in response to the challenges presented by an ageing population.
Ms Jess Fung
Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
- 2766 5197
Mr Edmond Siu
Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
- 2766 5096