ASEAN’s First 5G Smart Hospital Launched
Thailand Office of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), Siriraj Hospital, and Huawei on Thursday jointly launched the “Siriraj World Class 5G Smart Hospital.”
Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, presided over the inauguration ceremony alongside Mr. Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa, MD, Dean of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital Mahidol University, Colonel Natee Sukonrat, Ph.D, Vice-Chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, Mr. Han Zhiqiang, Ambassador of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Thailand, Mr. Abel Deng, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Thailand, as well as Assoc. Prof. Visit Vamvanij, MD, Director of Siriraj Hospital, Assoc. Prof. Cherdchai Nopmaneejumruslers, Vice Director of Siriraj Hospital.
This project remarks the first and largest 5G smart hospital project in Thailand and the ASEAN region. It aims to bring more efficient and convenient experience to patients by introducing technologies such as 5G, cloud, and artificial intelligence, and promote Siriraj Hospital to become a model for smart hospitals in Thailand and the world. At the same time, Siriraj Hospital and Huawei will establish a Joint Innovation Lab to incubate innovative 5G applications. Currently, the two parties have started piloting 5G portable medical boxes, 5G unmanned vehicle, 5G medical carts, and 5G smart hospital beds. It is expected that 30 5G medical applications will be incubated and promoted nationwide in 2022.
General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister, addressed the national policy on 5G technology and digital economy, stating, “The Thai government understands the importance of technology, successfully drafting a plan for Digital Thailand, and today is an important first step in the utilization of digital technologies and 5G in the medical field. This will help reduce processes for medical personnel, decrease overall risk, and will improve the effectiveness and efficacy of healthcare for patients. We will use Siriraj 5G Smart Hospital as a pilot project with the aim of expanding to other hospitals in the future. We admire Siriraj Hospital and Mahidol University, and would like to thank Huawei, NBTC, private organizations, and all other partners involved in this project. We hope the project will act as a blueprint for all Smart Hospitals in Thailand going forward.”
Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa, MD, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital Mahidol University, shared the background and development of implementing Siriraj’s Smart Hospital Project with 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) to build a model for “Smart Hospitals” in collaboration with its partners – introducing 5G, Cloud, AI, and Digital Disruption technologies for application in prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation to enhance the quality and productivity of medical services, bring about good experiences while using its services, provide people in remote areas with better opportunities to access advanced tertiary health care services, as well as minimize the disparity and serve as a model for new generations of medical services to the global public health industry. In addition, an Innovation Lab and other innovative platforms were also established to cultivate innovation projects in the future.
Colonel Natee Sukonrat, Ph.D., Vice-Chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, addressed the NBTC’s support of the Project by saying that “The NBTC, as the regulatory body of broadcasting and telecommunications businesses, has a key mission for licensing frequencies to accommodate high speed wireless communications in the 5G era, to promote the national telecommunications infrastructure development, and introduce the extension and utilization of technologies to various sectors. This is in line with the government’s policy after the National 5G Committee resolved to approve the pioneer Smart Hospital project as a prototype project for 5G application and foresaw the potential of Siriraj Hospital – equipped with specialists and fully-integrated medical equipment – as being instrumental in development into a smart hospital to produce apparent results.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Siriraj Hospital and Huawei have established long-term cooperation in 5G technology development and application. In June 2020, Siriraj Hospital cooperated with Huawei Thailand to launch 5G self-driving vehicles for contactless delivery of medical supplies. In December 2020, Huawei signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with Siriraj Hospital to accelerate the intelligent operation of Siriraj Hospital using digital technologies such as 5G, including patient monitoring, diagnosis, and data collection, and provide technical training for doctors in the hospital. In 2020, Siriraj won the award from CommunicAsia Awards in the category of “Most Innovative 5G Trial in Asia Pacific Region.”
This cross-sector collaboration will enhance and upgrade the services of Siriraj Hospital to progress it to become a smart medical center using digital technologies based on 5G, AI, Big Data infrastructure, and Cloud Edge processing for the purpose of patient tracking, disease diagnosis by AI on Cloud, data storage and analysis, and allocation of resources – all of which will help pave the way to fulfill the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital’s vision to become the “Medical Institute of the Nation, a Creator of Global Citizen Wellbeing”, and a Smart Hospital model for other hospitals in Thailand.