Siriraj joins AI venture
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Siriraj joins AI venture

Goal is improving medical treatment using technology

The Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital at Mahidol University sign a memorandum of understanding with executives from Cariva Thailand and ARV.
The Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital at Mahidol University sign a memorandum of understanding with executives from Cariva Thailand and ARV.

The Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital under Mahidol University is joining with local artificial intelligence (AI) startup Cariva (Thailand) to leverage AI to enhance medical treatment and offer innovative medical products and services.

The collaboration aims to strengthen Thailand's position as a medical hub and assist in the export of AI health-tech innovations to Asia-Pacific.

"As a leading public hospital with 10,000 patients per day, we are in a position to embrace AI in our services and co-develop with technical experts such as data engineers to export AI-based products to Asia-Pacific," said Dr Apichat Asavamongkolkul, faculty dean at the hospital.

He made the remarks during the memorandum of understanding signing between the faculty and Cariva.

"AI will change the world and we cannot avoid it," said Dr Apichat.

"We will leverage our quality data and AI to address a shortage of physicians, increase diagnostic accuracy, and improve medical treatment by offering more personalised care."

He said the collaboration also aims to incubate medical AI and medical technology startups.

Dr Cherdchai Nopmaneejumruslers, deputy dean for service innovation and organisational values, said the project will develop medical data to strengthen the AI medical ecosystem in Thailand, in compliance with ethics regulations and the Personal Data Protection Act.

Dr Cherdchai said using AI can help short-handed medical staff that are overloaded with work by automating certain tasks.

"This is not only a high-tech collaboration, but also high-touch as doctors will have more time with patients," he said.

The collaboration covers four projects, including the establishment of "SiCAR Ai Lab" this month, a platform for testing and developing medical AI.

The lab should give Thai startups the opportunity to develop more efficient medical AI, leading to better health diagnosis outcomes for patients as well as strengthening the medical AI ecosystem, according to the university.

The second project is Mahidol University's Radiology Department developing "RAD Scan" AI that can read and analyse images such as tumours.

Cariva developed AI that can measure the mass of organs and tumours. It can generate 3D images that shorten the preparation time for medical staff.

The partnership with Siriraj will support product commercialisation in the market, said Siwadol Matayakul, chief executive and co-founder of Cariva (Thailand) Co. The company has registered capital of 169 million baht.

He said RAD Scan AI was developed using foreign data. The partnership with the radiology department will help the AI system adjust its operations to fit the data of local patients, said Mr Siwadol.

"The ability to see 3D models with AI analysis will help physicians see organs more clearly. This can shorten the surgery time in operating rooms," said Dr Apichat.

Cariva also co-developed with radiologists AI that can recommend the radiology service such as X-ray or CT scan based on individual patients' medical records.

The partnership involves Siriraj Genomics centre to launch new products, including NanoPGx, a nanopore-based pharmacogenomics offering.

This is a high-precision process analysing genes with potential for medicine allergies on a population-independent basis, enabling it to effectively serve both local people and foreigners, said the company.

The fourth project is the Center for Value Driven Care (VDC), which is an R&D centre owned by the faculty to develop innovation and link knowledge from Siriraj medical expertise with new technological advances. Cooperation with internal and external agencies as well as the private sector can help Siriraj Hospital become a "smart hospital", said Dr Cherdchai.

This centre can expand to cover AI medical incubation and accelerator programmes.

"We will establish incubation and accelerator programmes for medtech and AI startups by year-end," he said.

Dr Cherdchai said Siriraj Vittayavijai Co is a holding firm that can start joint ventures in any potential businesses.

Mr Siwadol said Cariva has AI and Robotics Ventures Co Ltd (ARV), an arm of PTT Exploration and Production, as an investor.

"Our goal is to become a unicorn startup by 2028," he said.

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