HDB tests smart elderly monitoring system

The Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) Smart Elderly Monitoring and Alert System (Semas) has proved popular among those who tested the system, media reports said.

Developed by HDB along with four SMEs, the system was installed in 12 rental flats in Yishun, Woodlands, Marine Parade and Clementi from June to November 2014.

Semas aims to help families monitor their elderly relatives by gathering information from sensors installed in flats and providing alerts through text messages to their caregivers once irregular patterns occur, such as an unusually long period of inactivity. The system also features a portable panic button that can be pressed in times of distress.

An HDB survey showed that all households supported the use of the system, with 10 of them saying that it was easy to use and elderly-friendly.

Eight of the participating households indicated that the system does not compromise their privacy while four remained neutral.

Doris Oo, a pre-school teacher and the sole caregiver of her mother, 78-year-old Madam Mabel Chen, was one of the first to test the system at their flat in Yishun.

“I’m not at home most of the time, so this really helps very much,” shared Ms Oo. “I’m much less worried about her now.”

Semas is part of the Smart HDB Town Framework which aims to convert public flats into “smart homes”. The first batch of units are expected to be launched in two housing projects at Punggol Northshore in the upcoming sales exercise in May.

Commenting on the new system, Cheong Koon Hean, HDB’s Chief Executive Officer said: “Smart technology helps to improve the lives of residents. In this instance, it enhances the safety of our elderly residents and offers their children greater peace of mind.

“Moving forward, HDB will continue to explore innovative ideas and partner the industry to develop solutions that residents can consider adopting for their HDB flats.”


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Singapore Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg