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Singapore Institute of Technology teams lauded for innovative eldercare designs

In a recent press release,
it was announced
that two SIT teams were
honoured for their entries at the 6th Eldercare Innovation Awards
held in conjunction with the 9th International Ageing Asia
Innovation Forum 2018 in May.

Touted as the 'Oscars
of the Eldercare Industry', the award is the only one of its kind in the Asia
Pacific region that recognises the best in innovative eldercare product and
service delivery.

As Project Lead for
the Smart Walker for Gait Rehabilitation with Local Positioning System,
Associate Professor Patrick Chua, Engineering, SIT clinched the award in the
'Best Smart Care Technology – Product' category on behalf of the team.

The Smart Walker is
the final year project of Ms Koh Min Merissa, who is currently working toward a
Bachelors’ degree in Engineering with Honours in Mechatronics (SIT-UofG). It
was designed and developed as a result of a continued multidisciplinary
collaboration with Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH).

The team responsible
for this device consisted of four students. Together with A/Prof Zheng Jianxin,
Programme Director, Engineering and Tan Hong Yong, Professional Officer, all
four members of the team provided valuable inputs to produce the innovative
smart walker that independently aids a patient undergoing rehabilitation.

This means a patient
does not need the physical support of physiotherapists all the time.

Therapists would be
able to manage and monitor the patient using the smart walker from a remote
laptop. The system monitors and records the walking activities as well as
locates the positions of patients using the smart walkers.

This is particularly
useful in countries with limited and overwhelmed rehab facilities as it
provides an innovative solution to the issue of the lack of manpower faced by
the healthcare industry.

Assistant Prof.
Patrick Chua stated that the award was indeed prestigious and that receiving it
was a very proud moment for SIT and our industry partner, KWSH. He gushed about
how proud he was of his team as they managed to come out on top despite
competing with some of the most esteemed organisations from the Asia Pacific
region.

He made it a point to thank
the University of Glasgow for facilitating this Smart Walker project and giving
him the opportunity to train and lead final year students to venture beyond
their classroom environment.

The second SIT team extolled
for their innovative design made it to the top five finalists for the same
category with the entry of an arm-skate device named
the New Arm. The team was headed by Assistant Professor Agnes Xue, Deputy
Programme Director, Design and Specialised Businesses, who was behind the
design of New Arm.

The
faculty-and-student project was the innovative solution to METTA Day
Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly's challenge to design a device for
post-stroke patients to regain upper limb mobility.

A collaboration
between the Engineering and Health and Social Sciences Clusters in SIT, the
innovation is the result of one-and-a-half-year's findings of four students
from the design, engineering and occupational therapy disciplines.

Assistant Prof. Agnes
Xue said that the team’s work relies on a multidisciplinary approach and puts
the user at the centre of the design process. To make the device even more
user-centred, and for an added fun element, the team incorporated a virtual
reality game to provide an incentivised, goal-directed task to motivate
patients to move their arm.

She added that being
awarded top five is a major milestone. It gives her and her team confidence
that their design is well-suited to improve the quality of life for our patients.

Researchers and teams
at SIT show incredible potential for growth and development with their promising
technological innovations and designs, particularly in the field of eldercare.

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