The growing number of elderly people living either on their own or with an elderly partner has inspired Yonghe's (
The system is almost ready to launch and the hospital is looking for volunteers for the free pilot program, publicity director Hsueh Kuei-wen (
"There are more than 800,000 elderly people living either with another elderly person or completely alone," he said. "Not only is it inconvenient for them to get to clinics and hospitals for checkups, if a medical emergency occurs, it could be days before anybody realizes that something has happened."
Hsueh said that the long distance care system comprises a blood pressure monitor, a blood sugar monitor and a weight and body fat monitor, which are designed to be easy to operate.
"If the elderly person in question can still operate a television remote control, they will have no problem with this system after a little training," Hsueh said.
The information gathered by the monitors is then sent to the hospital automatically via the Internet, Hsueh said.
The elderly person is expected to use the monitors daily.
"If we see that somebody on our program missed a health check, we can call to make sure that they are OK," Hsueh said. "We will also arrange a health call if the patient's records indicate abnormalities."
The hospital is looking for 60 low-income senior citizens above the age of 65 who live alone and suffer from a chronic disease that requires monitoring to participate in its free pilot program for one year.
However, Hsueh warned that once the program was offered commercially the costs might be "steep."
Hsueh said it was hard to put a price tag on the service at this stage.
"Not only is the equipment itself expensive, the program is incredibly manpower intensive," Hsueh said. "Not everyone will be able to afford it."
Earlier, in an interview with the Taipei Times, Department of Health Deputy Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the increase in the number of new profit-making services offered by hospitals and clinics was a result of a stagnant National Health Insurance budget, which has cut into hospital profit margins.
"As one source of revenue declines, it is inevitable that hospitals and clinics will seek other ways to make money," he said.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
TOURIST HOTSPOT: The air charter services would drastically cut travel time to the world-renowned beach with its service to Caticlan, instead of Kalibo Royal Air Philippines is to launch next month direct flights between Taiwan and the Philippine city of Caticlan, a closer entry point to tourist hotspot Boracay. The airline will initially offer six charter flights between Dec. 26 and Jan. 15, with the flight frequency increasing to one per day during the Lunar New Year and winter holidays from Jan. 19 to Feb. 8, it announced at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. The charter flight services will drastically cut travel time to Boracay to about two hours and 45 minutes. Before the new route is launched, travelers from Taiwan who