New center to benefit elderly and disabled
A center which opened in Jing'an District on Tuesday features cutting-edge rehabilitative products and intelligent technologies that benefit elderly and disabled people.
The Shanghai Rehabilitative and Assistive Device Innovation and Experience Center at 207 Jiaozhou Road is displaying the latest advanced and innovative products.
An AI sign language recognition robot which can translate sign language and a TCM device which can tell people's health from their tongue are among the highlights. An exoskeleton robot, intelligent bionic hand and intelligent sleep device are also featured.
Rehabilitation aids improve, supplement or replace a human body's function, and provide complementary treatment as well as prevent disabilities.
Rehabilitative and assistive devices cover all aspects of life such as clothing, food, housing, transport and entertainment.
"The development of rehabilitative and assistive devices is closely linked with people's livelihoods and and the exhibits cover six innovation areas — technology, materials, design, intelligent assistive devices, application scenarios and services," said Mei Zhe, deputy director of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, at the opening ceremony.
"The center will release and display innovation products in the field and host interactive experience activities regularly," said Mei. "These enable enterprises from home and abroad, online and offline to display their latest devices and technologies, and seniors and the disabled to get close to the rehabilitative and assistive device industry."
Shanghai had 5.18 million residents over the age of 60 at the end of last year, 35 percent of its permanent population, according to the bureau.
Of the products on display, 43 percent are overseas brands from countries that include Japan, Germany, the UK, Israel, Switzerland, Iceland and Russia.
The center, operated by XiaoKaYun, a rehabilitative and assistive device industry service promotion center, highlights the research, development and application of invention patents and technology such as artificial intelligence and big data, upgrading of materials, and the combination of products and rehabilitation applications.
"The exoskeleton robot helps patients with lower limb disability and seniors through rehabilitative training," said the design company’s Shi Zhong. "It simulates the pace of normal people to recover their walking abilities and can help them walk again by enhancing their muscle strength."
The robot is in wide use at city communities and hospitals, he said.
An AI sign language recognition robot is also on display.
"It helps hearing impaired people and seniors with deteriorating hearing tackle sign language communication problems," said Li Bin, of the company which designed the robot.
"Traditionally, they rely on sign language translators in communication, but the cost is high. Translators can’t provide 24-hour services and sign language also has ‘dialect’ in different places in China. Sign language translators commanding two to three versions are rare.
"We use artificial intelligence technology to develop the device, and it is small and applicable at communities, banks, high-speed railway stations and health service stations," said Li. ”It has a vocabulary of more than 10,000 words.”
Another device tackles the prevention of dementia and helps patients with light symptoms.
"After brain function assessment, it can identify those at risk, then providing matching training therapies," said Liu Xingxing, from device’s design team.
A TCM device which tells people's health condition by scanning their tongue and offers therapies is also on display.
"One of my relatives just had surgery on her knee," said a visitor surnamed Zhang, 80. "I want to have a look at whether there are suitable devices for her at the center.
"She lives on the sixth floor and there is no elevator, making it difficult for her to climb stairs, thus assistive devices that can help her climb stairs are needed," said Zhang. "We don't like wheelchairs."
He added: ”I am healthy now and have a clear mind, but I think devices for seniors with cognitive disorders are also in big demand. For example, devices to prevent them getting lost when outside, and to train them to ease symptoms and slow down the dementia process I will recommend good devices here to my friends.”
Xuhui’s Tianlin Subdistrict has 79,000 residents, with around 35 percent senior citizens.
"They have a big demand on community-based senior care services," said Chen Yulei, deputy director of the subdistrict.
There is a center in the subdistrict where rehabilitative and assistive devices can be rented.
"It boasts about 30 types of devices such as nursing beds and intelligent wheelchairs for rent, and it is warmly welcomed by residents," Chen said. "Two nursing beds were rented out the first day of the center's opening."
"It is good news that the products displayed here will be introduced to our center," said Chen.