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LU survey finds most citizens expect Government to subsidise gerontech products for the elderly

07 Apr 2020

Most respondents were optimistic about the development prospects of gerontechnology.
Prof Joshua Mok Ka-ho
Prof Joshua Mok Ka-ho, Vice-President of Lingnan University leads the LU Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing Project research.

A recent study entitled Hong Kong Citizens’ Awareness and Attitude towards “Gerontechnology” by the LU Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing Project of Lingnan University (LU) finds that most respondents are optimistic about gerontechnology’s applications, but they consider the Government does not provide adequate financial support for the public to purchase gerontech products. They would also like the Government to expand the scope of the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme (EHV Scheme) for the purchase of gerontech products, and to expand research and development.


Between 20 and 24 November 2019, the research team interviewed 256 Hong Kong citizens who had attended the Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit 2019 by electronic questionnaire. 71 per cent of local respondents had heard of gerontechnology (Figure 1), and nearly 90 per cent were optimistic about its application in the future (Figure 3).


Asked about their preferences for particular types of gerontech products, 80.9 per cent of respondents marked “healthcare”, and 62.1 per cent “transport” (Figure 2). However, 67.2 per cent of respondents chose “too expensive” and 50.8 per cent “don't know where to buy” when asked for reasons deterring them from using gerontech products (Figure 4).


72.4 per cent of respondents believe the Government’s financial support for the purchase of gerontech products is inadequate (Figure 5), and 87 per cent would like the Government to expand the scope of the EHV Scheme for purchasing gerontech products (Figure 6). 92 per cent of respondents agreed that the Government should commit more resources to the elderly care service industry for buying related products (Figure 7), while 90.8 per cent said the Government should subsidise research and development in the business sector (Figure 8).


“Gerontechnology can help to alleviate the problems of an ageing population, and improve the well-being of older people, as well as reducing the stress faced by seniors and caregivers,” explained Prof Joshua Mok Ka-ho, Vice-President of Lingnan University, who led the study.


Prof Mok added that the survey concludes the Government should be more active in advocating gerontechnology, and expand the EHV scheme’s coverage to relieve the financial burden of purchasing gerontech products, devoting more resources to subsidise the elderly care service industry, as well as encouraging the business sector to invest more in research and development.


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