Mr Cherdchai, Mr Sucharee and Mr Chatchai share their views on the 5G and healthcare and tourism sectors.

5G, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and other emerging technologies are expected to reshape the healthcare service in the coming years as access to better medical services becomes available, industry players say.

These new technologies can help save lives, reduce the workload of medical personnel, and support accurate treatment.

These opinions were divided into Bangkok Post’s virtual conference entitled: “Shaping Tomorrow: The Power of 5G and the Convergence of Technology”.

SMART HOSPITAL

Cherdchai Nopmaneejumruslers, deputy director of Siriraj Hospital, said the new technologies will support telemedicine, allowing patients to receive medical advice remotely.

“Within the next few years, patients suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure may forget their last visit to the hospital,” he said.

“A lot of people now forget the last time we went to a bank counter.”

In the next decade, Thailand still faces challenges in accessing healthcare due to a shortage of doctors.

Siriraj Hospital has about 80,000 inpatients per year and 3.8 million outpatients, creating overcrowding, Cherdchai said.

This raises concerns about the gap in future health services, especially for complex diseases, he said.

Technologies such as 5G, IoT, edge computing, cloud, big data and AI should allow for faster processing, reduced unnecessary hospital visits, lower costs and increased productivity, Cherdchai said.

“Destructive technologies can be used to observe people’s habits, such as diet, and to monitor vital signs. AI can be used to analyze patient data to support accurate medical treatment,” he said.

He also highlighted “healthcare everywhere” as a future concept.

Siriraj’s smart hospital project was selected by the 5G National Committee as a model to apply 5G technology to enhance healthcare services. The hospital also adopted blockchain technology to support decentralized personal health data, allowing fast and secure access to information.

Siriraj Hospital deploys an emergency medical system using 5G and AI to support ambulance intelligent solutions. In emergency rooms, staff can use 5G-enabled medical devices to monitor patient conditions and AI to help assess and send alerts.

Cherdchai said AI can also be used to diagnose non-communicable diseases and to support medical research.

If the technology adoption at Siriraj Hospital continues to work well, the model will be extended to other public hospitals, he said.

ASSOCIATED MEDICINE WITH TAT DHATNA

5G wireless technology not only facilitates communication between doctors and patients, but also helps analyze disease data for more accurate treatments that are predicted to form the core of modern medicine, said Sucharee Sanghan, director of innovation technology for Thonburi Healthcare Group ( THG).

A wide range of technological applications should help Thailand survive the pandemic and become a regional medical center, he said.

“Thai doctors are known for their talent and the treatment costs here are reasonable,” Sucharee said.

“The 5G technology added to these forces should secure our position as a medical center.”

5G can help doctors examine symptoms and make follow-up treatments for foreign patients when they return to their home countries, he said.

“Sensors can be inserted into patients who send their physical condition through 5G doctors for analysis,” Sucharee said.

Telemedicine, which allows doctors and patients to communicate with each other, is also used in ambulances to allow doctors to give advice and plan treatments in advance.

THG plans to use the medical stuff internet to improve the quality of its medical services and better match patients’ needs, he said.

SAFE AND SECURE

Chatchai Tangchittrong, founder of Pomo House International, a health and travel technology startup, said the company uses wristbands for tourists in its digital yacht quarantine program, a collaboration between the Digital Economy Promotion Agency, the Information Service of Advanced and Phuket government.

“We track data such as vital signs and the temperature of tourists on yachts and send the data to doctors and officials ashore,” he said.

“It allows tourism to continue and makes travelers happy.”

Yachts remain in restricted areas to reduce the risk of infection.

“This is an ongoing project with hundreds of premium tourists spending a lot,” Mr Chatchai said.

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