ASTRI’s innovation that protects the elderly from wandering risk wins prestigious Asia-Pacific Eldercare Innovation Award

ASTRI, in partnership with two other HKSAR Government-subvented R&D centres, developed a tracking and monitoring system that protects vulnerable groups like the elderly. The system, which has been applied in 11 elderly day care centres of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGH), has been chosen as the “Best Smart Care Technology Solution” at the 6th Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards. The award ceremony was recently held in Singapore.

TWGH, the end-user of the system, had nominated this “Installation of anti-wandering system for Day Care Centre for the Elderly” solution for this award. The system which works simultaneously through built-in RFID, GPS and BLE trackers. It greatly reduces the risk of vulnerable senior citizens being missing from elderly homes or other care centres. In addition to making life less stressful for the caregivers, the system also facilitates the improvement of elderly-caregiver ratio and overall service quality. Most importantly, it allows the elderly to be more involved in outdoor activities without the risk of getting lost.

The project has been a collaborative effort of three Government-subvented institutions: Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), Hong Kong Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre (LSCM) and Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA). These quangos, bringing together their collective strength and expertise, developed a tracking system to improve elderly-care. While LSCM contributed the RFID and GPS tracking system, HKRITA designed a special vest which houses the RFID tracker, GPS tracker and the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) device hardware. ASTRI provided the proximity monitoring system through BLE, responsible for the whole system integration, hosting the main server. ASTRI also conducted the system’s trial at TWGH facilities and Wong Chung Tong Day Care Centre for the Elderly.

The ‘6th Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards’ is widely revered as the ‘Oscar for the Eldercare sector’ in the Asia-Pacific region. This year, the award nominees and participants represented 19 countries and territories from across the region.