LU Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing Project ‘Gerontechnology Development Blueprint’ Public Seminar
28 Jun 2019
To promote the application of gerontechnology in Hong Kong and raise public awareness of smart ageing and technological innovation, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust funded the Lingnan University to organise the LU Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing Project for three years. A public seminar was held today (28 June) under the title of ‘Gerontechnology Development Blueprint’ to examine how different industries tackle the challenge of the ageing population.
Dr Lam Ching-choi, Chairman of the Elderly Commission, Ms Imelda Chan, Head of Charities (Grant Making – Elderly and Family), The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Prof Joshua Mok Ka-ho, Vice-President of Lingnan University, and representatives of social enterprises were invited to discuss the latest innovations in the field of gerontechnology. The seminar also featured a mobile gerontechnology lab where participants could experience what gerontechnology can do for them, and learn more about gerontech products.
In his welcome speech, Prof Joshua Mok Ka-ho, Vice-President of Lingnan University, addressed that Hong Kong’s elderly care service is increasingly strained due to the soaring older population. “We should think how to apply gerontechnology in healthcare, dining, living and transport in order to enhance the quality of life of the elderly in care homes, in the community, and at home."
“Lingnan is delighted to have received donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust to launch the LU Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing Project. We will build a gerontechnology lab on the campus to showcase gerontech products, promote awareness among the elderly, and provide hands-on experience of how gerontech products can change their lives for the better.”
Ms Imelda Chan, Head of Charities (Grant Making – Elderly and Family), The Hong Kong Jockey Club noted that the Club’s Charities Trust was one of the world’s top ten charity donors and that it had always attached great importance to the well-being of the elderly with the “Elderly” being one of its focus charitable areas. She said, “We hope to help transform Hong Kong into an age-friendly city and extend the active life of the elderly. It is also our aim to promote active ageing by encouraging the elderly to enjoy the second half of their lives and making it more fulfilling.”
Dr Lam Ching-choi, Chairman of the Elderly Commission, gave a speech on the role of the government, the private sector, the community and the academia. He pointed out that gerontechnology is a combination of elderly care services and technological advancement in response to the issues presented by an ageing population. Many regions throughout the world have been researching and developing technological solutions to improve care for the elderly, enhance their quality of life, and provide much needed relief for care workers and nursing professionals.
While the HKSAR government has been promoting the integration of innovations in technology with the elderly care sector in response to the needs of an ageing population, Dr Lam noted that cross-sectoral collaboration is also vital in the funding of gerontechnology and the development of the relevant infrastructure. “Only when the government, the private sector, the community and the academia all play their part will Hong Kong achieve sustainability in elderly care service,” he said.
Mr Tam Kwok-kuen, Chairman of the Governance Committee of Wing Wah Love Technology Services Ltd, explained the latest development in gerontechnology. For example, the social enterprise has recently been able to help elderly cognitive disorder patients and their care-takers by integrating innovation with elderly care through technological solutions, public education and support services. This ensures that gerontechnology is relevant to everyday life.
The public seminar is part of the three-year LU Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing Project (2019-2022) nominated by ‘The Chief Executive’s Community Project List’ and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The project serves as an educational platform to offer initiatives on ‘Gerontechnology in Healthcare, Dining, Living and Transport’ to train professionals in gerontechnology. The project will also conduct baseline studies in order to build a database of gerontech products and services, social innovation and start-ups, in order to provide visionary policy recommendations to the industry and the government.