The aim is to take advantage of modern digital technologies like 5G, AI and cloud to provide healthcare in a more improved and holistic way
To provide dynamic healthcare services with the help of new-age technologies such as 5G, cloud and artificial intelligence, Thailand soon plans to convert the Siriraj Hospital into the ASEAN region’s largest 5G smart hospital.
Called “Siriraj World Class 5G Smart Hospital”, the project has been launched by the Thailand Office of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and Siriraj Hospital in collaboration with Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Siriraj Hospital together with Huawei aims to establish a Joint Innovation Lab for incubating innovative 5G applications. Currently, work has begun on piloting 5G portable medical boxes, 5G unmanned vehicles, 5G medical carts and 5G smart hospital beds. It is expected that 30 5G medical applications will be incubated and promoted nationwide in 2022.
Emphasising the utilisation of digital technologies and 5G in the medical field, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand at the project inauguration ceremony said, “This will help reduce processes for medical personnel, decrease overall risk, and will improve the effectiveness and efficacy of healthcare for patients.”
He added, “We will use Siriraj 5G Smart Hospital as a pilot project with the aim of expanding to other hospitals in the future. We hope the project will act as a blueprint for all Smart Hospitals in Thailand going forward.”
Prof. Dr Prasit Watanapa, MD, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital Mahidol University, expressed his thoughts on equipping Siriraj Hospital Project with 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) to build a model for “Smart Hospitals” by stating that digital disruption technologies for application in prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation enhance the quality and productivity of medical services, connect remote areas with better access to advanced tertiary health care services and minimise disparity to bring positive experiences and serve as a model for the global public health industry.
Sharing this belief, Colonel Natee Sukonrat, PhD, Vice-Chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, stated that NBTC’s mission for licensing frequencies to accommodate high-speed 5G wireless communications promotes the development of national telecommunications infrastructure.
Siriraj Hospital’s association with Huawei goes back to 2020 when they collaborated to launch 5G self-driving vehicles for contactless medical supply delivery and agreed to incorporate digital technologies such as 5G, including patient monitoring, diagnosis and data collection.
The partnership has also helped with providing necessary technical training for doctors in the hospital.
Highlighting this long-standing union, Mr Abel Deng, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd., said, “Huawei has collaborated with Siriraj Hospital to transform it into a world-class 5G Smart Hospital, and introduced the Innovation Lab at Srisavarindira Building as part of its 5G infrastructure project for Siriraj Hospital last year. This signifies a model for upgrading Thailand’s public health industry in the future and contributes to Siriraj’s transition to becoming a Smart Hospital.”
It is expected that the collaboration will enhance and upgrade the services of Siriraj Hospital to progress it to become a smart medical centre based on 5G, AI, Big Data and Cloud Edge processing for advanced patient tracking, better disease diagnosis and effective resource allocation, and as result, serve as a model to others.