13 March 2023 | News
mHealth mobile app with interactive nursing support enhances elderly health management
The School of Nursing of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has launched a pilot mHealth health management mobile app with interactive nursing support.
Research data shows the app empowers the elderly to monitor their chronic diseases and mental health conditions. An interdisciplinary team formed by healthcare professionals and social workers offer support to the elderly, such as providing timely medical referrals, thereby reducing the unplanned use of health services and enhancing elderly health management.
The mHealth app is jointly developed by The School of Nursing of PolyU and a local telecommunications company to help monitor the health condition of the elderly. When an abnormal vital sign (such as blood pressure, or blood glucose level) is detected, a registered nurse will be notified via the app and will contact the elderly person to understand their health condition.
Hong Kong has one of the most rapidly ageing populations in the world. The number of Hospital Authority patients with chronic diseases is projected to reach three million in the coming decade by 2039, which will bring a heavy burden to the public healthcare system.
The research team recommends promoting the use of digital technology for health management among the elderly, and strengthening health-social collaboration on digital platforms. The team will enhance the app, adding functions such as artificial intelligence, and incorporating content that is more suitable for the needs and preferences of the elderly so that they will continue to use the app, which will contribute to the goal of reducing public medical expenses.