Telecom firms announce services for senior Shanghai residents

Zhu Shenshen
China Mobile and China Unicom are not only offering low-cost packages to senior citizens, but they will also help with health monitoring, emergency services, and online diagnosis.
Zhu Shenshen

Telecommunications carriers announced on Monday that new digital services for senior citizens will be launched in Shanghai to improve their daily lives and protect them against pandemic risks.

According to China Mobile and China Unicom, the services will include low-cost monthly packages starting at 19 yuan (US$2.9), as well as remote health and emergency monitoring, online pharmacy and diagnosis, and virtual nursing home services.

The announcements come ahead of World Telecommunications Day, which falls on Tuesday, and carries the theme "Digital Technologies for Older Persons and Healthy Aging" this year.

Shanghai has the highest proportion of elderly people in the country, resulting in increased demand for elderly care services. According to Chen Jiechong, chairman of the Shanghai Communications Administration, digital technologies make sense because they support both elderly care and pandemic prevention.

By 2021, Shanghai had 5.81 million residents aged 60 and up, accounting for 23 percent of the total population – and approximately 4 percentage points higher than the national average.

Telecom firms announce services for senior Shanghai residents
Ti Gong

Smart scanners are used in residential communities in Shanghai.

The digital services, which are based on 5G, cloud, and AI, assist senior citizens with health management and medical care remotely, as well as code scanning. According to the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization, it also helps in avoiding contact during the pandemic, gathering, and unnecessary hospital visits.

In Shanghai, China Mobile launched elderly care packages starting at 19 yuan per month. It includes video conferencing and safe location services. Community services, smart health management, and mobile medical services are three areas where the carrier plans to expand.

In the districts of Xuhui, Fengxian, and Pudong New Area, China Unicom is testing a smart elderly care network with Huawei and other tech partners, encompassing approximately 12,000 senior residents.

The network provides a one-click button on devices such as smartwatches, mobile phones, and other gadgets that allows older citizens to seek help from community workers, hospitals, and family members within 15 minutes. In the event of an emergency, sensors are put in the home, which can automatically connect to city-level urban management networks that encompass fire, ambulance, and police.

According to Liu Tong, vice general manager of Shanghai Unicom, China Unicom strives to deliver products on safety, health, nursing, and spiritual entertainment to silver-haired families.

Senior citizens can also be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the help of digital technology.

According to experts, doctors and community workers can promptly assess the health conditions of senior citizens for immunizations using digital medical documents.

Telecom firms announce services for senior Shanghai residents
Ti Gong

China Unicom aims to offer one-stop digital services for senior residents.

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