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Sze P.C.,Hong Kong Housing Society Elderly Resources Center | Lam H.W.,Hong Kong Housing Society Elderly Resources Center | Au-Yeung K.Y.,Hong Kong Housing Society Elderly Resources Center | Tong K.Y.,Hong Kong Housing Society Elderly Resources Center
Gerontechnology | Year: 2014

Purpose: The functional status of elderly people is the key predictor for health in later life and the increase in health awareness is beneficial for promoting healthy ageing no matter the health status of the individuals1,2. In Hong Kong there are limited services on functional assessments available for community-dwelling elderly who are relatively in good health conditions. Most of these assessments are provided in clinical settings which are not easily accessible and need referrals from health professional. This paper presents the development of computerized functional assessments in the Elderly Resources Centre (ERC) of Hong Kong Housing Society for community-dwelling elderly. Method: Professionals including occupational therapists, social workers and biomedical engineers were responsible for the development of the assessments. Based on literature review, assessments in four areas including cognitive function, physical function3, sensory function4,5 and basic health index were included. Advanced 3D kinematic software using Kinect was adopted to develop the content and administration of the assessments. A smart card with database system was applied to allow the user for accessing the assessment panels independently and generating individual assessment reports automatically. A group of 30 community- dwelling elderly people were invited to have the trial to evaluate the system. Results & Discussion: A series of computerized interactive assessment panels were developed and installed in ERC. In the trial, elderly people could easily follow the user-friendly interface to complete the assessments. The application of the 3D kinematic also provides a fun and pleasant experience for the elderly. The development provides a convenient way for community- dwelling elderly in Hong Kong to have easy-to-obtain functional assessments and advices on healthy ageing. Further study will be conducted on studying population norms on functional status and application on health management programs.

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