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Prof. Gary CHAN and His Team Won a Gold Award in the HKICT Awards 2022 on a Mobile Technology to Foster an Inclusive Community for Dementia Anti-wandering

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Prof. Gary Shueng Han CHAN and his team won a gold award in The HKICT Awards 2022: Smart People (Smart Inclusion) on an innovative mobile crowdsourcing technology which fosters a caring inclusive community to search for missing demented patients.

Research Background

Ageing population is a global challenge. As our elderly population continues to grow, one critical issue is how to help caregivers effectively search for their demented patients when they are lost. Sponsored by The HKJC Charities Trust, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is partnering with Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing (JCCPA) and St. James’ Settlement (SJS) to tackle this problem in a cost-effective manner with mobile crowdsourced technology. Through developing an innovative app called 「友里蹤跡」, they foster a caring and friendly community for dementia people so that anyone having installed the app can help searching for missing dementia people.

Research Designs

Professor Chan’s team has created miniaturized iBeacon tags of size of a HK$5 coin, and incorporated the into walking sticks and name cards. When the tag owner (demented patient) is lost, his or her caretaker can report the missing event through the mobile app. Users having installed the mobile app, known as “Angels,” can then assist in the hunt for the missing person by simply turning on their Bluetooth and GPS. If the tag is nearby, the angel then sends the detected Bluetooth signal and the location information to a cloud server in an anonymous manner. The location engine in the cloud then computes the tag’s position and notify the caregiver. The system is “privacy by design”, offering the highest level of privacy and security to both patients and angels. Currently, it is serving more than 3,000 dementia people in community, and has successfully contributed to finding many missing demented patients.

Congratulation again to Prof. Gary Sheung Han CHAN and his team! Read more about the HKICT Award 2022.