Hongkongers could soon be able to avoid harmful pollutants and have their health monitored constantly while living and working in mainland China, local scholars said as they unveiled new gadgets for doing just that.
They included a personalized, wearable heart monitor, complete with a mobile app for checking and sharing the data it collects.
The city’s leaders have in recent years urged residents to live and work in the Greater Bay Area, a government development plan involving Hong Kong, Macau and nine nearby mainland cities. But the call has met resistance, because of fears over health care standards and quality of life, as well as political and cultural differences.
The heart monitor was aimed in part at alleviating those health worries. Elderly Hongkongers who retire in the bay area can use it to let Hong Kong health advisers and even family members keep track of the data, the academics said.
And Wong Kam-fai, associate dean at Chinese University’s faculty of engineering, said on Monday that anyone who moves up north would also be able to share the heart monitor’s data with mainland health care professionals, while hands-on parents can use the data to check if their children studying across the border get enough exercise each day.
“Anyone can be a data producer, a data user and a data analyst,” said Fung Tung, director of the university’s Institute of Future Cities, which invented the tech.
Addressing the serious levels of air pollution in mainland cities, the engineering academics also unveiled a monitoring system with a set of modules for checking levels of different pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone and radiation, as well as a wearable system which allows users to monitor their exposure to harmful particulate matter in real time.
“In Hong Kong, we only have 15 EPD monitoring stations. The nearest station to where we are right now in Chinese University is Tai Wai. And if you live in Sheung Shui or Fanling and want to see your local pollution levels, you can only see data from your closest station in Tai Po. That’s quite a long way,” Fung said.