Hi-tech app to monitor community's health
The Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, under Mahidol University, yesterday introduced state-of-the-art mobile app technology as a tool to collect health-related data from people in Bangkok Noi district.
The app will work in the form of community-based surveillance that will help medical staff at Siriraj Hospital collect health data and other details such as the economic status of each person in the community, said Dr Naris Kitnarong, the faculty's deputy dean in charge of Corporate Communication and Social Responsibility.
The mobile application under a health project named "Bangkoknoi Model -- Good Health Starting with the Press of a Finger" is a progressive project to create public awareness on disease prevention, Dr Naris said.
He said the Bangkoknoi Model app has been developed for 150,000 people of all ages living in the Bangkok Noi area.
If they are interested in the project, they can upload the app and enter their health data on it. It is expected that at least 60% of the population from 42 communities in the district will join the project within a year, he said.
Once the health data of each person is sent via the app, it will be analysed. After that medical staff from the hospital will visit their communities to give medical advice, he said.
"We will work closely with the communities. If people in the communities get sick, we want them to be cared for in their homes and communities first so that we can reduce the number of patients going to hospital," he said.
Siriraj Hospital treats about 3.5 million patients per year, or about 8,000 patients per day. The number of patients goes up on average by about 10% per year.
The Ministry of Public Health has tried to accommodate patients going to the hospital by strengthening its capacity. But it is not enough to serve the increasing number of patients, he said.
His hospital is focusing on how to prevent disease by working at community level to address the importance of health awareness, Dr Naris said.
He said the project will be developed to help the elderly living with illnesses. He said treatment can reach them immediately in case of need.
Meanwhile, Dr Prasert Assantachai, deputy dean of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, voiced concern that the country will be a fully-fledged ageing society within the next three years with 13 million elderly people or 20% of the population.