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3 Feb 2017

Health Tech for Seniors

2017 Winter International Technology & Management Business Plan Competition on “Health Tech for Seniors” was hosted by HKUST in January 2017.  34 students from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA), University of Bayreuth (Germany), and University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) flew to Hong Kong to join 14 students of HKUST Dual Degree Program in Technology & Management and form mixed teams in competing for the best business plan in health-tech services and products for seniors.    

Silver market is a fast-growing business as life expectancy becomes longer with an average of 80 years in developed countries. Seniors’ demand for high-tech services and products is a great potential for new startups with innovative ideas and breakthrough technologies. Students are challenged to develop “Health Tech” for seniors who have some mobility or dexterity disability living in high‐end retirement communities with a monthly total spending budget of US$5,000 to US$11,000.

Experts from industry and academia gave lectures on the latest development of senior care. Students visited aged home, Chinese medicine company and biotech startups to take a closer look into the healthcare business operations and interview the seniors to understand their needs.

The winning team SilverSolutions (Francisco CANALES, Jannik LOCKL, Ka Yui LUK, Lok Man MA and Kiara RIVERA-VALLES) created a skin patch with NIRS (Near Infrared Spectroscopy) sensor linked with wearable alarm to alert aged women suffering from urinary incontinence in advance on leaking accident. They made a prototype with 3D printing to showcase the design and explained how NIRS helped detect potential leakages by sending IR light of various wavelengths to the bladder. They anticipated the monthly spending would be only around HK$38 which is way more affordable, convenient and comfortable than traditional solutions like diapers and catheters.

After an intensive and exhausting 8-day competition, students traveled to Kaohsiung, Taiwan to enjoy road cycling, hot spring and Tainan Hakka culture.

  • Belbin Workshop was conducted by certified trainer to help increase the communication and effectiveness within the teams for achieving their objectives

  • Mr. Charles Law, Managing Director of Culture Technology Ltd, gave a lecture on retirement home in Hong Kong

  • Prof. Laurence Liauw, Principal Director of Spada Health Concepts Ltd, shared insights of trends and policies in senior care

  • Group discussion

  • Students visited The Tanner Hill Aged Home, a pioneering non-subsidized quality living initiative of the Hong Kong Housing Society

  • Students visited biotech startups at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks

  • Students visited biotech startups at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks

  • Students enjoyed seafood at Sai Kung

  • Final presentation

  • Final presentation

  • Final presentation

  • Final presentation

  • The winning team

  • Students enjoyed street food at Kaohsiung, Taiwan

  • Road cycling at Kaohsiung, Taiwan

  • Road cycling at Kaohsiung, Taiwan

  • Hakka cultural activity at Kaohsiung, Taiwan