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July 15, 2019

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Hold a robot’s hand for better health and longer life

Li Fengyun, 68, scans a QR code on a health-examination robot in her community and puts her hands on its arm. After 15 seconds, she receives a detailed health-assessment report on her smartphone, including heart rate and blood pressure.

Li has been accustomed to such regular health management since she moved into the community in north China’s Tianjin last year.

“Though it is not a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, the robot gives me some basic guidance so that I better know my health condition,” she said.

Many senior citizens have become beneficiaries of the technology that targets the elderly. Sha Ruifang, a 61-year-old Tianjin citizen with heart disease, is among them.

Sha wears a smartwatch which can monitor her heart condition at any time. “I did not expect it to play a big role when I was outside,” Sha said, adding that she once received a phone call from the backstage management platform, saying that her heart rate was abnormal.

“I went to a hospital immediately and was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. However, I recovered after taking some medicine thanks to the early treatment,” Sha said.

Jin Yu, business operation director of the company that manufactures the smartwatch, said the basic functions of the watch included click-to-call linking to the community committee, health management, real-time monitoring and remote orientation.

“The data collected from elderly customers will be gathered at a platform, where our staff will answer their questions and give advice based on abnormal indexes,” Jin said.

Meanwhile, the children of the elderly can know the health conditions of their parents in real time by installing an app on their smartphones.

They are also able to set up an “electronic fence” for aged parents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. By preliminarily setting up the reminder time and their routine living areas, users receive text messages or e-mails if their amnesiac parents go out of an appointed area.

By the end of 2018, the total number of seniors aged 60 and above was 250 million, and it is expected to surpass 300 million in 2025.


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