A Personalized Health Monitoring System for Community-Dwelling Elderly People in Hong Kong: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation Study

Hailiang WANG, Yang ZHAO, Lisha YU, Jiaxing LIU, Inez Maria ZWETSLOOT, Javier CABRERA, Kwok-Leung TSUI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Telehealth is an effective means to assist existing health care systems, particularly for the current aging society. However, most extant telehealth systems employ individual data sources by offline data processing, which may not recognize health deterioration in a timely way. 

Objective: Our study objective was two-fold: to design and implement an integrated, personalized telehealth system on a community-based level; and to evaluate the system from the perspective of user acceptance. 

Methods: The system was designed to capture and record older adults' health-related information (eg, daily activities, continuous vital signs, and gait behaviors) through multiple measuring tools. State-of-the-art data mining techniques can be integrated to detect statistically significant changes in daily records, based on which a decision support system could emit warnings to older adults, their family members, and their caregivers for appropriate interventions to prevent further health deterioration. A total of 45 older adults recruited from 3 elderly care centers in Hong Kong were instructed to use the system for 3 months. Exploratory data analysis was conducted to summarize the collected datasets. For system evaluation, we used a customized acceptance questionnaire to examine users' attitudes, self-efficacy, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and behavioral intention on the system. 

Results: A total of 179 follow-up sessions were conducted in the 3 elderly care centers. The results of exploratory data analysis showed some significant differences in the participants' daily records and vital signs (eg, steps, body temperature, and systolic blood pressure) among the 3 centers. The participants perceived that using the system is a good idea (ie, attitude: mean 5.67, SD 1.06), comfortable (ie, self-efficacy: mean 4.92, SD 1.11), useful to improve their health (ie, perceived usefulness: mean 4.99, SD 0.91), and easy to use (ie, perceived ease of use: mean 4.99, SD 1.00). In general, the participants showed a positive intention to use the first version of our personalized telehealth system in their future health management (ie, behavioral intention: mean 4.45, SD 1.78). 

Conclusions: The proposed health monitoring system provides an example design for monitoring older adults' health status based on multiple data sources, which can help develop reliable and accurate predictive analytics. The results can serve as a guideline for researchers and stakeholders (eg, policymakers, elderly care centers, and health care providers) who provide care for older adults through such a telehealth system.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19223
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was partly supported by the RGC Theme-Based Research Scheme (no. T32-102-14N), CityU Grant (no. 9610406), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 71901188). The authors wish to thank the HKCS for their support in participant recruitment and thank all of the participants of the pilot studies.


  • Digital biomarkers
  • Digital phenotyping
  • Elderly population
  • Falls detection
  • Fitness tracker
  • Personalized health
  • Sensors
  • Technology acceptance
  • Telehealth monitoring
  • Wearables


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