By Lucas Wong on March 07, 2018 for The New Paper Singapore
The thought of a past tragedy gave Mr Koh Zhi Kai, 23, added impetus to develop a solution that would help vulnerable elderly individuals.
A few years ago, his grandmother, who lived alone, fell in the bathroom. By the time an aunt dropped by for a visit hours later, his grandmother had died.
Mr Koh, a third-year business information technology (BIT) student in Temasek Polytechnic, said: “Most adults are working and have little time to spend with their elderly parents, so they often just leave them at home.” After months of preparation, Mr Koh and his group – which includes Mr Josiah Quek, Miss Lee Hui Yun, Mr Bryan Liu and Miss Renee Tan, all 19 – succeeded in creating a monitoring system that enables senior citizens to live more independently.
Called A-Signal-Away, this system relies on motion detectors that track movement in and out of a particular room. If movement is not detected after a stipulated amount of time, a notification will be sent via text to alert caregivers of the individual.
The project was one of 25 on display late last month at the Meeting Young [email protected] Project Show 2018 showcase, an annual event in its 16th year. Students were given the freedom to select a problem given by companies or to come up with their own, and develop a solution to it. Pevoli Enterprise, which aims to solve challenges faced by the elderly, was one company involved in generating problems for the students. Mr Gin Yong, 46, owner of Pevoli, said the A-Signal-Away prototype was “beyond expectations”.
“I intend to propose the solution to some elderly centres to discuss the possibility of implementing it first on a smaller scale before seeing if it can be expanded,” he said.
Another highlight of the exhibition was TechHealth, a wearable device that tracks the pulse rate of individuals during sports so that aid can be provided swiftly if they collapse during physical activity. Having read reports of health-related mishaps that occurred during exercise, the group behind this device hope to prevent such incidents. Developed by Mr Royce Chua, Mr Zane Ho, both 21, Mr Oh Shao Kang, Mr Aaron Tham and Miss Falicia Tui, all 20, the project required the students to attend workshops to develop the hardware.
Mr Chua said: “Initially, we were quite half-hearted as we were taking on something that was related more to engineering than business.”
However, the support provided by individual members to each other, as well as the prospect of producing something different, motivated the group to press on. Course manager Benedict Fernandez, 55, said the BIT programme, into its 18th year, focuses on “maximising connectivity”. He said: “Students are encouraged to develop solutions that utilise mobile applications and tap on the wide network provided by smartphones.”
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