NBTC joins forces with Siriraj Hospital and HUAWEI, piloting unmanned vehicle, transforming Thai healthcare with 5G into smart hospital.
Mr. Takorn Tantasith, Secretary-General of the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), announced on Thursday, 25 June 2020, that the NBTC, together with Siriraj Hospital and Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd., initiated “Unmanned Vehicle Pilot Project Driving Thai Healthcare to 5G Era” to pioneer the use of unmanned vehicle for the first time in Thailand at Siriraj Hospital.
The self-driving delivery vehicle takes advantage of 5G technology from Huawei to bring about a contactless medical supplies delivery solution. After the test trial, the NBTC will evaluate the benefits and efficiency of the 5G-enabled unmanned vehicle before maximising results from this pilot project to leverage the unmanned vehicle in different uses, as well as in other hospitals, in Thailand.
The pilot driverless vehicle project will elevate the Thai medical system to the 5G era by applying world-class technology and innovation, thereby driving the medical services and healthcare industry ahead. The technology can replace manpower in logistics services as it can operate in complex environments within Siriraj Hospital.
The autonomous car offers safe, convenient and cost-effective solutions while reducing workload for healthcare worker and improving patient safety. The 5G technology integration will then be progressively applied in the national health system for Smart Hospital transformation in the near future.
Mr. Takorn added, “We would like to thank Siriraj and Huawei for their cooperation in this project. Huawei has consulted with NBTC that they would like to bring technology to help during the crisis of Covid-19. Huawei not only helps hospitals, but also doing smart airport project in the future. These are parts of the transition to the digital age.The NBTC has been utilising 5G technology with remote medical services by connecting with Community Health Promotion Hospital and large local hospitals in piloting remote treatment of four diseases; eye diseases, skin diseases, blood pressure abnormalities and diabetes. Moreover, the remote medical care has expanded to Khao Bin Central Prison and Ratchaburi Central Prison in Ratchaburi province, to give easier medical access to people and prisoners in remote areas. The ongoing projects by the NBTC aim to drive greater benefits of 5G innovation into different aspects of life across the country.”
“Thailand has the advantages of having had a successful 5G auction and of being one of the 5G leaders in ASEAN. The NBTC recognises the competitive advantages and promotes integration of 5G technology in different sectors to close the digital divide in the country. This is to get Thailand ready for digital transformation in driving our daily life, work and manufacturing forward,” said the Secretary-General of the NBTC.
Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa, Dean of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, added, “We hopes that more technology will be adopted and hope that cooperate with NBTC together with technology from Huawei Thailand, to create new things in Thailand, strengthening the digital hub. Siriraj hospital would like to thank you NBTC and Huawei for this project. As a result of the COVID-19 situation, the safety of patients and medical workers must be prioritised, including effective use of resources. Siriraj Hospital places importance on taking full advantage of digital technology in order to holistically increase the efficiency of medical services and operations. The pilot 5G unmanned vehicle project will enhance the central logistics system within the hospital. In the initial stage, it will be used to transport and distribute medicines for contactless delivery which will help reduce workload and infection risk among frontline workers. This is another important step to improve the quality of healthcare services for long-term development and sustainability.”
Mr. Abel Deng, CEO of Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd., also commented that, “As a global leading company in technology, Huawei is honoured and delighted to continuously take part in assisting Thai medical staff. The pilot driverless vehicle project for Siriraj Hospital will operate under Huawei’s 5G technology to help transport medical supplies within the hospital. This pilot project exemplifies the accelerated digitalisation of Thailand’s medical services as 5G will play a key role in the next generation of healthcare. The 5G applications in the public health domain could also inspire businesses in other sectors to leverage 5G's popularity and explore new applications of the technology. Most significantly, 5G technology will be the key driving force to recover the Thai economy and drive new economic and societal growth for the country across every aspect.”