Hong Kong is coping with an ageing population. By 2041, almost one in three people in the city will be aged 65 or above, up from just 16 percent last year, showing the urgent need to provide better care for people who are advanced in years and suffering from chronic diseases.
With a large population requiring drugs, Hong Kong-based startup Simplify Technology aims to offer a technical solution to help people to avoid incidents of sending or taking the wrong medicine, alleviating pressure on patients and caregivers.
Targeting the residential care services for the elderly, six local university students started the business which focuses on “Treasure”, a smart drug box that helps users record and manage medication information with a mobile application.
One of the co-founders, Yum Wai-yin, spotted the problem of elderly and chronic patients frequently forgetting to take medicines, which hinders the progress of their treatments. Yum came up with the idea of a “smart drug box” and approached Li Cheuk-man, who is studying biomedical engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong with Yum, and other like-minded people to form the business.
The original design of the smart drug box includes intelligent drug sorting and storage, blood pressure and blood sugar measurement tools. However, they realized that the more features were added, the larger the size of the drug box became, and this is not fit for the small living space in the city. Therefore, they decided to focus on the pill management feature. The smart drug box can also connect with a sphygmomanometer via Bluetooth.
Hardware development is one of the hurdles the team has encountered on the journey, says Tsang Ming-hei, one of the co-founders. He said it took at least several days to a week for them to assemble the 3D-printed parts and components; “it was a small vessel gear that took us a whole month to complete”.
The Treasure smart drug box won for the team the silver award in an entrepreneurship competition organized by the Young Entrepreneurs Development Council, and now they have the chance to rent an office at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park.
The team has also participated in several entrepreneurial competitions and has accumulated a six-digit amount of capital for product development and production.
Looking forward, Tsang said they have hired a consulting firm to apply for medical instrument certifications, and they expect Treasure to enter overseas markets.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 23
Translation by Ben Ng
[Chinese version 中文版]
– Contact us at [email protected]