Smart Elderly Care System and Health Management Empowered by
Big Data: A Case Study of the Innovation of the Intelligent
Wheelchair Application
Yixuan Li
, Yuze Bo
, Yang Zhao
and Xinyang Jiao
School of Management, Tianjin University of Technology, China
Keywords: Big Data, Smart Elderly Care, Ecosystem, Innovation, Health Management.
Abstract: Under the context of big data, the relevant departments of the state have launched an in-depth design of the
elderly problem and called on social forces to play a leading role in the elderly care industry. Some people
in the elderly care industry predict that 2020 will be the pioneering year of elderly care in China. The
improvement of the smart elderly care system and health management is the general momentum. The
Chinese people are committed to reuniting their families and returning to their homelands eventually, so the
development of smart elderly care in China is an impending trend.
1.1 The Living Conditions and
Psychological Characteristics of the
Elderly in China
Living Conditions
Today the world is facing a common problem -
population aging. Especially in China, the population
aging falls into a large demographic imbalance
between rich and poor countries in terms of the
economic development gap, and following the
retirement of the elderly, their welfare and
entitlements are below the world standard. The
majority of the elderly in China currently have
low-income levels and China is confronting an
unprecedented aging process. According to the data
released by the National Bureau of Statistics, from
2014 to 2020, the population of the elderly over 60
years old in China increased from 210 million to 264
million, with a compound annual growth rate of
3.72%. In 2020, the total population of the elderly
increased by 3.99% year-on-year, accounting for
18.7% of the total population. According to the
international classification standard of the elderly
population, the proportion of the population over 60
years old in the total population is greater than 10%,
which is considered to have entered an aging society.
Psychological Characteristics
As the elderly age, their psychology also undergoes
significant changes, with the most significant
characteristic being their increasing dependence on
their children. They yearn for the company of their
children. Their mood will fluctuate considerably if
their children are not around or when they are
subjected to an unfamiliar environment. This will be
detrimental to the physical and psychological health
of the elderly (Salter 2015).
After retirement, the elderly will no longer
regularly participate in cumbersome daily affairs and
will find it difficult to keep abreast of the
development and progress of society. Therefore, in a
subjective sense, they need more opportunities to
communicate with the outside world and seek
psychological rewards from it.
1.2 Explanation of Basic Concepts
1.2.1 Smart Elderly Care
Smart elderly care is a new concept emerging with
the development of the times, which can be simply
Li, Y., Bo, Y., Zhao, Y. and Jiao, X.
Smart Elderly Care System and Health Management Empowered by Big Data: A Case Study of the Innovation of the Intelligent Wheelchair Application.
DOI: 10.5220/0011374300003438
In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Health Big Data and Intelligent Healthcare (ICHIH 2022), pages 565-571
ISBN: 978-989-758-596-8
2022 by SCITEPRESS Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
understood as “Internet + elderly care”. Smart
elderly care is a sensor network system and
information platform, which mainly serves the
elderly who age alone at home, in the community,
and the elderly care institutions, providing fast,
prompt, efficient, low-cost, and intelligent elderly
care services for these objects.
1.2.2 Smart Elderly Care Ecosystem
The smart elderly care ecosystem is similar to a ring
model, with the central point for the sake of the
well-being of the elderly. It uses technology,
information, and other advanced means to improve
the life quality of the elderly by combining the
Chinese concept of elderly care with the organic
deployment of various factors in the elderly care
system among the elderly, society, and government
agencies (Robert, Matjaz 2016).
1.3 Drawbacks of the Traditional
Elderly Care Model
In China, the traditional concept of “caring for the
elderly” is advocated. From these concepts, it is
clear that the elderly in China still largely rely on
their children, especially their sons, for their old age.
But in today’s view, this concept does generate some
undesirable social effects.
1.3.1 Expensive Charges
In rural areas, the problem of old-age care for the
elderly has become a burden for many children.
According to the survey, the charges of elderly care
institutions in rural areas are generally around 2,000
yuan per month, which is a considerable expenditure
in combination with the local price level and wage
level. In this regard, the elderly people generally
choose to age at home, taking turns to live in the
homes of their children, which not only makes the
elderly feel displaced but also causes strife among
1.3.2 Unfamiliar Environment
According to a study conducted by the Canadian
Institute of Health Information, they conducted a
follow-up survey of 5,000 elderly people over 65
years old who lived in nursing homes for a long time
and found that 26% of these elderly people suffered
from depression and were mentally and physically
distressed, and 18% experienced extreme emotional
instability. According to the study, these elderly
people living in nursing homes have poor physical
and mental health (Ni 2016).
1.3.3 Isolation of Family Affection
In the traditional Chinese concept, “elders relocate
to the birthplace in their later years”, China is a
country that attaches great importance to family
affection. Placing parents in a nursing home as they
age is tantamount to isolating precious family
affection and causing a certain psychological burden
to the elderly. Moreover, nursing homes generally
lack vitality and have a lot of negative energy.
1.3.4 Elder Abuse
In the past few years, the news of elder abuse by
nursing home caregivers was saddening, which is
largely related to the quality of old-age caregivers.
Generally speaking, old-age nannies are mainly
middle-aged and elderly women in rural areas and
laid-off women workers in cities, who are not highly
educated as well as older, which is simply a model
of the elderly taking care of the elderly. Taking care
of the elderly is very heavy work, which can easily
cause physical and mental pressure to the elderly
caregivers, and the continued accumulation of
negative emotions can easily cause harm to the
elderly being cared for.
1.3.5 Enhanced Loneliness
First, with the advancement of China’s aging
process, the elderly population is growing; second,
with the development of science and information
technology, many elderly groups cannot keep pace
with the trend of the times and are unable to use the
Internet, failing to understand the world of young
groups, thus gradually generating a sense of
loneliness of not being understood or even
neglected; third, influenced by the physical and
psychological characteristics of the elderly
themselves, they are emotionally unstable and can
easily lose control of their emotions when
encountering some unsatisfactory situations (Tong,
Huang 2015).
ICHIH 2022 - International Conference on Health Big Data and Intelligent Healthcare
2.1 Development Trend of Smart
Elderly Care Management Service
2.1.1 Elderly Care Is the Core Work of the
Government’s Civil Affairs, and
Governments at All Levels Quickly
Start to Implement It
Compared with other countries, Chinas elderly care
model is relatively simple, mainly divided into two
forms: home-based elderly care and social elderly
care. The traditional home-based care model has an
unshakable position in the context of Chinese culture
and thought, but due to the family planning policy
implemented by the state since 1982, many families
have only one child in response to this policy, which
has led to many only-children occupying the
mainstream in the 1980s. Elderly care serves as the
core work of the government’s civil affairs. (Li, Li
2018) Governments at all levels should quickly start
to implement it, and a large amount of capital
investment and nursing staff assistance policies have
been fully implemented.
2.1.2 The Elderly Care Method: Model Is
Upgraded and the Proportion of
Institutional and Community Old-age
Care Increases
Although countries such as Japan and Singapore are
relatively close to China in terms of cultural and
living habits, the difference from my country is that
the elderly in countries such as Japan and Singapore
are mainly borne by the state. This is mainly due to
their small population, the country’s developed
economy, and the state’s ability to provide various
old-age welfare for the elderly.
2.1.3 The Old-age Care Method: Tool Is
Upgraded and More Intelligent
Methods Will Be Added
With the advancement of information technology
and the strong demand for social elderly care, some
high-tech products for the elderly have gradually
appeared in the market. (Zhou 2018) These
high-tech products not only improve the quality of
life in old age, but also provide emotional comfort to
the empty nesters to a certain extent, and new
changes have taken place in the form of
Chinese-style old-age care. The smart elderly care
service model of “system + service + elderly +
terminal” covers a variety of elderly care forms such
as institutional elderly care, home elderly care, and
community daycare. The construction of the smart
elderly care ecosystem has brought new vitality to
the elderly care industry and produced a series of
effects that are beneficial to social progress. To this
end, this ecosystem has been recognized and
concerned by the government, enterprises, and the
public. The elderly group can also enjoy the
convenience brought by the development of science
and technology.
2.1.4 Research on Elderly Care Products:
Innovative Research on Intelligent
The control structure of the intelligent wheelchair
mainly consists of three parts: the detection system,
the control system, and the execution system. The
detection system is mainly composed of various
sensors, which can detect the environmental
information of the outside world and the health of
the human body. The control system comprises
STM32F103ZET6 MCU as the main control chip,
ESP8266 module for the Internet of Things (IoT)
information transmission, and GPRS module for
users’ information positioning. The execution
system mainly has the functions of a special
structure of wheelchair, users’ information
transmission, and intelligent obstacle avoidance.
(1) Service functions of the detection system
The detection system mainly includes the
perception of the external environment (such as
intelligent obstacle avoidance, etc.), blood pressure,
and heart rate detection sensors. Through the
detection of human heart rate, the IoT big data is
analyzed to detect users’ physical condition and the
ESP8266 low-power intelligent WIFI chip is used to
connect the data to the cell phone users and users’
relatives, thus, users’ health condition can be viewed
through the cell phone. The detection system also
comprises a voice detection module, and users can
control the moving direction of the wheelchair by
voice, which greatly simplifies users’ tedious
operation steps.
Smart Elderly Care System and Health Management Empowered by Big Data: A Case Study of the Innovation of the Intelligent Wheelchair
1 Voice Controller
2 Heart Rate Sensor
3 Main Control Chip
4 Obstacle Avoidance Sensor
5 Blood Pressure Sensor
Figure 1: The detection system of the intelligent wheelchair (self-made).
(2) Control system
The control chip used in this digital intelligent
wheelchair is STM32F103ZET6 MCU as the main
control chip, with ARM as the core, which includes
64KB of SRAM and 512KB of Flash inside, serving
as a MCU with powerful function configuration.
(3) Information transmission system
Since wheelchairs are used by disabled and
elderly people, most of them are in poor physical
condition. In order to keep users and their relatives
informed of their physical health, we collect
information about the user’s physical condition
through sensors and then transmit the information to
the user’s relatives’ cell phones via the Internet
using the ESP8266 chip, so that their families can be
informed of the user’s physical condition in a timely
1 User Mobile Terminal
2 Master Server of the Corporate
3 Information Transmission Module
4 Main Control Chip
5 Detection System
Figure 2: The control system of the intelligent wheelchair (self-made).
(4) Execution system
The executive system of the digital intelligent
wheelchair includes automatic alarms, night lights,
and numerous motors.
ICHIH 2022 - International Conference on Health Big Data and Intelligent Healthcare
1 Alarm Si
nal Sendin
2 Wheelchair Lighting
3 Wheel
4 LCD Display Module
5 Main Control Chi
Figure 3: The execution system of the intelligent wheelchair (self-made).
Figure 4: Appearance of the wheelchair (self-made).
3.1 Smart Elderly Care Ecosystem and
Health Management
3.1.1 Strengthening Top-level Design and
Overall Planning
(1) Formulating relevant laws and regulations. At
present, there is not a complete set of laws and
regulations on smart elderly care at the national level
in China. Only If the top-level design can be
improved and sound laws and regulations can be
formulated, can we provide strong support for the
implementation of smart elderly care. With clear
legal provisions, government departments will have
a complete set of implementation policies, and it is
easier to form scale effects.
3.1.2 Accelerating the Construction of
Hardware and Soft Environment
(1) Construction of the basic hardware. In the
previous concept, smart elderly care can be simply
understood as “Internet + elderly care”. Smart
elderly care is a sensor network system and
information platform, which mainly serves the
Smart Elderly Care System and Health Management Empowered by Big Data: A Case Study of the Innovation of the Intelligent Wheelchair
elderly who age alone at home, in the community,
and the elderly care institutions, providing fast,
prompt, efficient, low-cost, and intelligent elderly
care services for these objects. Government
departments should continuously improve the
quality and level of network communications to
provide favorable conditions for the implementation
of smart elderly care. For some impoverished and
remote areas, government departments should
allocate some financial funds for the construction of
network facilities.
(2) Construction of cultural environment. For
many elderly people, the concept of smart elderly
care is still relatively vague. This has a lot to do with
their usual living environment and their acceptance
of new knowledge. Therefore, it is necessary to
carry out cultural environment construction.
Administrators can promote smart elderly care by
pulling banners in the community to provide a basic
impression of it and then conduct in-depth
door-to-door publicity to introduce the ecological
system of smart elderly care in detail. In addition to
cultural dissemination for the elderly, it is also
possible to create a certain atmosphere of public
opinion in society.
3.1.3 Enhancing the Construction of Talent
Smart elderly care is inseparable from the Internet,
and young people are the main users of the Internet.
To strengthen the talent team, efforts are required
from the following aspects. The first is to strengthen
ideological construction. It is needed to mobilize
young people to join the smart elderly care from the
ideological aspect. In the view of many young
people, the elderly care industry means frequent
dealings with the elderly, who are more stubborn
and difficult to get along with. It is necessary to
break this concept of young people ideologically.
The second is to improve the quality of the team and
provide them with relevant knowledge of the elderly
care service industry in the process of training. The
third is to boost the retention and training of
newcomers and make them more closely connected
with the company by raising their remuneration and
industry status, thereby improving the level of the
team and enhancing the capacity building of the
4.1 Sound Modernized Smart Elderly
Care Service System
(1) Introducing PPP mode. In order to provide better
services for the elderly, it is necessary to break the
existing elderly care service model, explore the
market-oriented operation mode, and promote the
transformation of the main body of elderly care
services from unity to diversification. First, on
account of the comprehensive research results, the
program design of the APP is completed based on
the comprehensive consideration of the actual
situation, needs, and complete information of the
elderly, so as to ensure the effect after
implementation. Second, in-depth training of the
talent team enables them to proficiently apply and
master the basic functions of the APP, so that the
promotion of the APP can be carried out more
smoothly. Third, in the process of developing the
APP business, effort should be made to strengthen
team management, guarantee the rationality of the
creation plan, and ensure the smooth implementation
of the creation plan.
(2) Improving the return visit system. In order to
make the implementation of smart elderly care
smoother, relevant departments should improve the
return visit system. It is believed that smart elderly
care and old-age health management are also
services in the final analysis. The satisfaction of the
elderly is extremely important to the development of
the smart elderly care industry(Wei 2019).
According to relevant statistics, China officially
entered an aging society in 1999. China’s
demographic structure is gradually shifting from
growth to stability. It is estimated that the number of
elderly people in China will hit a peak around 2050,
with the proportion of people aged 60 and above
reaching more than 30%. Asian countries such as
China, Japan, and Korea are entering the aging
society at a slower pace than European and
American countries, but the aging process is much
faster than that in other countries. Smart elderly care
has become an inevitable trend in China, and the
integration of smart elderly ecosystems and smart
products in health management has provided
sufficient impetus for the development of elderly
care. Under the new situation, the smart elderly care
ICHIH 2022 - International Conference on Health Big Data and Intelligent Healthcare
ecosystem presents different new characteristics.
Relevant social and government administrators
should carefully analyze these characteristics and
formulate corresponding management
countermeasures, which is a long process and needs
to be explored step by step.Smart elderly care
contributes to the stable development of China's
Li G, Li H X. An Analysis of the Development of
Continuing Education for the Elderly in my country
from the Perspective of Active Aging [D]. Taiyuan:
College of Continuing Education, Shanxi University,
2018: 4-5
Ni Y C. Research on the Construction of Home-based
Elderly Care Service System in Urban Communities
under the Background of Population Aging [D].
Nanjing: Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese
Medicine, 2016: 33-54
Robert Dukaric, Matjaz B. Juric: Towards a Unified
Taxonomy and Architecture of Cloud Frameworks[J].
Future Generation Computer Systems, 2016, 8: 48-59
Salter. Standby Reverse Mortgages. A Risk Management
Tool for John Retirement Distributions[J]. Journal of
Financial Planning, 2015,8:40-48
Tong H J, Huang C Y. Changes in Contemporary Chinese
Family Structure and its Social Impact [J]. Northwest
Population, 2015(6): 81-84
Wei H M. Analysis of the Intervention of Social Work in
Community Home Care Services [J]. Industry and
Technology Forum, 2019, 4(8): 65-7
Zhou Y M. Detailed Explanation of Architectural Design
of Elderly Care Facilities [M]. Beijing: China
Construction Industry Press, 2018.4: 12-20
Smart Elderly Care System and Health Management Empowered by Big Data: A Case Study of the Innovation of the Intelligent Wheelchair