Polycom to help monitor the elderly

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 June, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 June, 2002, 12:00am

Another six homes for the elderly will be equipped with telemedicine services this year, bringing the total to 12.

The equipment, provided by videoconferencing company Polycom, allows doctors to remotely monitor the condition of their clients, and is especially helpful for those with diabetes.

Each system, which consists of cameras linked by a network, costs about HK$60,000.

According to Professor Ng Ho-keung at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, videoconferencing equipment had been installed in six elderly homes in Sha Tin.

'The elderly people and diabetics usually take a long time for treatment and recovery, many of them have physical difficulties in going to hospitals or clinics to have periodic checking. The videoconferencing equipment helps them to receive treatment from medical professionals,' said Professor Ng.

He said hospitals also used the technology where doctors exchanged information on their patients, and decide whether a hospital transfer was necessary.

'It can avoid accidents and danger during the transfer,' Professor Ng said.

The Prince of Wales Hospital signed an agreement with Macau's Health Bureau this year.

Professor Ng said that SAR doctors could offer medical advice and decide if transfer was necessary for Macau hospital patients who were often given further treatment in Hong Kong.