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S for IT visits smart city initiatives (with photos)

The Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, visited various smart city initiatives today (February 19) to learn more about the implementation and progress of smart city development in Hong Kong.

The Vice-Chancellor and President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Rocky Tuan, and the Chief Executive Officer of the CUHK Medical Centre (CUHKMC), Dr Fung Hong, accompanied Mr Sit for a smart hospital visit. They toured the hospital's ward, out-patient clinic and pharmacy to better understand smart healthcare, services, and management there. These included a paperless electronic medical record system; a linen management system; an automated drug dispensing and unit dose packaging system; and hospital beds equipped with infotainment panels facilitating Internet access, tele-visits, tele-consultations, etc. Mr Sit was also shown a demonstration on the use of mobile 5G for tele-education, Bluetooth for indoor navigation, and ultra-wide band for real-time location tracking. Mr Sit was pleased to see the numerous innovations, and that with the use of Internet of Things (IoT), mobile information and communications technology and real-time data, the efficiency of hospital operations and patient-oriented services is enhanced.

Mr Sit then went to MetroPlaza in Kwai Fong to see for himself the application of the Smart Washroom AIoT Solution developed by local start-up Blutech IoT Ltd. The system integrates artificial intelligence and IoT technologies and deploys various smart sensors, smart washroom signage and big data analysis to give precise information to visitors on a washroom's occupancy and waiting time, and property management on usage and sanitation. With the aid of technology, better replenishment and management can be achieved. Mr Sit said that while he is glad to see the Smart Washroom AIoT Solution being the winner of Award of the Year at the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2020, it is really encouraging to see this local technology solution being commercialised and opening its market in shopping malls.

At the Kwai Chung Customhouse, Mr Sit received a briefing on Smart Customs by Assistant Commissioner of the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED), Mr Jimmy Tam. The C&ED actively employs innovation and technology to enhance its law enforcement capability and customs clearance efficiency. With the support of the Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB)'s TechConnect (block vote), the C&ED started a study on the development of a Cargo Big Data System together with the Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre. By making use of big data analytics and artificial intelligence to strengthen the risk management capability on cargo clearance, it is hoped that smuggling activities could be further combatted and overall effectiveness in law enforcement and trade facilitation would continue to be enhanced.

The TechConnect (block vote) set up by the ITB supports government departments in planning and implementing technology projects with adoption of suitable technologies, including pilot schemes and researches, to enhance operational efficiency and public service delivery. The scheme has supported funding of $440 million for 84 applied technology projects or studies proposed by 30 departments so far. Mr Sit encouraged the C&ED to continue to strive for excellence and enhance operational efficiency and improve public services by use of technology.

Mr Sit said, "While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily lives and business operation modes a lot, it has also expedited digital transformation and technology application. We released the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0 last December, setting out more than 130 smart city initiatives. A new chapter on 'Use of I&T in combating COVID-19' is also in place to address the new normal.

"Smart city development aims to deliver benefits and convenience to members of the public and allow them to better perceive the benefits of a smart city and I&T in their daily lives. Hong Kong has a strong base on which to build a smart city. We will continue to work with various sectors and make full use of our research and development results in building a smarter Hong Kong."

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