One of Hong Kong’s biggest property developers, Sino Group, through its philanthropic arm Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation, has started distributing 500 units of a remote monitoring system by Belun Technology Company to residential care homes handling mild COVID-19 cases.
The group partnered with the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) and the Social Welfare Department to deliver Belun’s remoVital remote monitoring system. Its major shareholder, the Ng Family, is an early investor of the local medical device maker.
WHAT IT DOES
Belun remoVital features the AI-powered Belun ring that measures oxygen saturation and pulse rate, among others. It also consists of a body temperature probe and a communication hub. The system provides real-time alerts when patient parameters go beyond a pre-set threshold.
WHY IT MATTERS
The Belun devices will facilitate the monitoring and follow-ups of COVID-stricken elderly and people with disabilities living in residential care homes. According to a press release, its distribution will be completed by mid-March.
“With efficient remote monitoring, carers can support residents in a timely manner. Every support counts as we combat COVID-19 as one community,” said Daryl Ng, director of the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation.
“The remote health monitoring system helps the care homes monitor patients’ health conditions, enabling them to provide timely support to the patients when necessary, and better protects the health of residents,” HKCSS Chairman Bernard Chan also commented.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Hong Kong is currently experiencing a “very dire epidemic situation,” the city government said, as COVID cases rise from hundreds to thousands in the first two months of the year due to the highly-transmissible Omicron variant. Hospital beds are now at 90% occupancy while isolation facilities are nearly full.
Today, Hong Kong officials invoked emergency powers to permit the entry of health workers from mainland China to assist the city in battling the present outbreak. While most of its population have been vaccinated against COVID-19 – around 76% have been fully inoculated – the rate among the elderly remains low with only 45% of residents aged 70 and above getting the full doses.