Germany's TUV SUD launches centre for testing smart eldercare solutions

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A robot that teaches physiotherapy and conveys doctors' instructions to patients might be the face of eldercare in future.

German technology company TUV SUD has developed such smart healthcare solutions to help the elderly age at home instead of constantly visiting hospitals.

It officially launched its Smart Elderly Care @ Home Centre yesterday at its headquarters in Science Park Drive. The centre provides a platform for the company to test the safety, security and reliability of its products.

"Countries like Singapore have limited resources in healthcare, so we have to leverage technology to care for the aged in our society," said Dr Axel Stepken, chairman of TUV SUD's management board.

TUV SUD has also developed a network of sensors and screens that enables doctors to remotely monitor patients' vital signs.

Senior Minister of State for Health and the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor officiated at the launch of the centre.

"We want to help our elderly age in place, and with peace of mind, surrounded by their loved ones," she said.

Such healthcare technologies come in the wake of the Smart Health Video Consultation and Smart Health TeleRehab.

Both systems were launched this year by Integrated Health Information Systems, the health technology agency for the Ministry of Health.

They allow patients to use video consultation or carry out rehabilitation exercises at home.

But there might be challenges, such as getting the elderly to accept such technology.

TUV SUD digital service director Andreas Hauser said: "I think it is about explaining the benefits to them and how it can enable them to stay at home to recover."

He added that the technologies will continue to be developed in the next year before being rolled out to interested healthcare providers and tested in real-life scenarios.

Senior homecare physician Tan Jit Seng said such technology would greatly benefit caregivers.

The director of home healthcare service Lotus Eldercare added: "The robot helps patients and caregivers feel that there is always a doctor there if they need one. It takes the strain off our manpower resources as well as the caregivers."