photo: HDB video grab

Lawrence Wong: Trial result of 3,200 devices for Elderly Monitoring and Utilities Management System still to be studied

Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong, said that full impact of the Elderly Monitoring and Utilities Management System is still to be studied by the Housing Development Board (HDB).

The Minister said this in the Parliament House in response to the question by Ms Cheng Li Hui, MP for Tampines GRC.

Ms Cheng had asked, how have the residents in Yuhua responded to the trial of the Elderly Monitoring System and Utilities Management System, and when will these systems be made available to residents in other constituencies.

The devices for the systems were launched as an expansion trial in Yuhua, Jurong East, last April, and were sold online until end of June for 3,200 households, following an initial trial of smart homes in 10 households in the same neighborhood from October 2015 to April this year.

Mr Wong pointed out that feedback from the participating households so far has been encouraging

The HDB and Infocomm Development Authority had launched the two sets of systems for residents in the Yuhua neighbourhood as a trial in smart homes.

The elderly monitoring system tracks the movement of elderly in the house via sensors. It can alert relatives to irregular patterns in their movement, like if there are no movements for a long period.

The elderly also wear a panic button that can be activated to alert their caregiver.

Panic button / photo: HDB video grab
Panic button / photo: HDB video grab
Informing the caregiver / photo: HDB video grab
Informing the caregiver / photo: HDB video grab

And the utilities system allows residents to monitor electricity and water use through a mobile app.

They can set energy use limits and will be alerted if the level of use is very high. They will also be notified if appliances are left running while no one is at home and can switch them off remotely.

Mr Wong said, “The residents felt that the Elderly Monitoring System was not intrusive, easy to use and gave them peace of mind when their elderly family members were alone at home.”

“The residents also shared that the Utilities Management System has helped them in tracking their utility bills and led to cost savings, some as high as 15%,” he added.

As for the MP’s question, Mr Wong only said, “Outreach efforts are currently ongoing. HDB will study the outcome of the expanded trial before deciding whether to implement the systems in other constituencies.”