Thailand launches ASEAN’s first 5G “smart hospital” with Huawei

5G hospital
Image by mast3r | Bigstockphoto

As 5G adoption continues to accelerate in Southeast Asia, Thailand has launched the “Siriraj World Class 5G Smart Hospital,” billed as the first and largest 5G smart hospital project in the region.

The Office of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), Siriraj Hospital, and Huawei Technologies (Thailand) jointly unveiled the hospital, which is aimed at offering an efficient and convenient experience through the introduction of technologies such as 5G, cloud, and artificial intelligence.

Huawei Thailand’s CEO, Abel Deng, said, “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.”

According to a press statement by Huawei, the collaboration will enhance and upgrade Siriraj Hospital’s services with digital technologies utilizing 5G, artificial intelligence, big data infrastructure and cloud-based edge processing for patient tracking, disease diagnosis via AI on cloud, data storage and analysis, and resource allocation. Located in Bangkok, the new digital health facility will showcase several innovative digital health applications.

The Siriraj World Class 5G Smart Hospital comprises nine sub-projects, which will include smart emergency rooms and emergency medical service, a pathological diagnosis system designed for 5G and AI, an AI platform for non-communicable diseases, smart inventory management, permission-based blockchains for personal medical records, autonomous logistics with 5G self-driving cars, multi-access edge computing and a hybrid cloud system.

Siriraj Hospital will also be promoted to become a model for smart hospitals in Thailand and the world.

Thailand has been pushing for 5G adoption in the healthcare industry. Thailand Health Data Space 5G, a 5G-based intelligent medical information and full-service system, was recently announced by the government.

The project is meant to improve the country’s health system across dimensions such as hospital information transmission, diagnosis, follow-up, rehabilitation, and emergency care.

The Thailand Health Data Space 5G Platform represents the first phase in Thailand’s effort to develop its big data health information platform, which comprises three components: a big data infrastructure, a nationwide hospital network information system, and a network of health applications.

According to Dr Anan Kanoksilp, director of the ICT Centre under the Public Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Office, the goal of the project is “to transform Thailand into a sustainable society by connecting all sectors involved in the Thai health system to transfer information more efficiently.”

“Thailand understands the importance of technology, and today is an important first step in the utilization of digital technologies and 5G in the medical field,” Thailand Prime Minister and Minister of Defence General Prayut Chan-o-cha said. “We hope the project will act as a blueprint for all smart hospitals in Thailand going forward,” he further added that Siriraj 5G Smart Hospital is a pilot project, which will be expanded to other hospitals in the future.

Additionally, Huawei and Sirraj Hospital have also revealed the establishment of a Joint Innovation Lab to incubate innovative 5G applications. The partners expect to develop and promote 30 5G medical applications in 2022.

NBTC Vice-Chairman Colonel Natee Sukonrat, Ph.D., and Dean of Faculty of Medicine Dr. Prasit Watanapa, MD, Siriraj Hospital Mahidol University, agreed that with the “smart hospital” model, people in remote areas will have better access to advanced health services.

Since the pandemic began, Huawei and Siriraj Hospital have strengthened their partnership in 5G. Both parties recently signed a five-year memorandum of understanding in which the hospital will upgrade its existing infrastructure and will be showing off its 5G capabilities at exhibitions and events.

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