PolyU pilots mobile health management app for aged care

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Nursing, together with a local telecommunications company, has developed a new mobile health management app for the elderly.


Based on a press release, the said app, which connects to a wearable health monitoring device, alerts a nurse or carer once it detects abnormalities in an elderly user’s vitals parameter, such as blood pressure or blood glucose level, enabling early intervention. 

It also features 24/7 nurse interaction where a user can just start a video call with their nurse anytime to seek support or to evaluate their mental and physical condition. 

The mobile health app has been tested by around 200 senior participants dealing with chronic conditions from five aged care centres of the Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service.

Findings from the pilot study showed that within three to six months of use, there was a significant increase in self-efficacy, a decrease in the level of depression and the use of medical services, and an improvement in the quality of life of the participants. Unplanned GP visits also went down by 72% following three months of use of the app. 


Hong Kong’s population is fast ageing. In 2021, senior people aged 65 and above made up 20% of the city’s total population, rising from just 13% a decade earlier. The median age of the population is 46.3, jumping from 41.7 in 2011. The WHO previously forecasted that four in 10 Hong Kong people will be 65 and above by 2050.

This trend is expected to impact public healthcare as it implies more people will be seeking care for their chronic conditions. Hospital Authority estimated that the number of patients with chronic diseases will reach three million by 2039.

An approach combining nursing support with digital technology has the potential to relieve pressure caused by such a rise in demand for public medical services, noted PolyU School of Nursing Assistant Professor Dr Ankers Wong, who also led the study on the mobile health app. 

Their research team is now looking to add more functions to the app, such as AI and personalised content, to convince elderly users to continue using the app. 


Outside Asia, Telstra Health in Australia launched last year a mobile app for residential aged care called CareKeeper. The cloud-based app enables staff to view, capture, and document care from a resident’s side in real time through a mobile device.



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