Huawei, the Thailand National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Communication (NBTC) and Siriraj Hospital, recently initiated its “Unmanned Vehicle Pilot Project Driving Thai Healthcare to 5G Era” to pioneer the use of unmanned vehicles for the first time in a smart hospital in this ASEAN country.
The self-driving delivery vehicle takes advantage of 5G technology from Huawei to bring about contactless delivery solution of medical supplies, which will elevate the medical system to 5G era by applying world-class technology and innovation to drive medical services and the healthcare industry.
Such technology can replace manpower in logistics services as it can operate in complex environments. 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 near future.
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“The NBTC has been utilizing 5G technology with remote medical services by connecting with Community Health Promotion Hospital and large local hospitals in piloting remote treatment of four diseases – such as eye diseases, skin diseases, blood pressure abnormalities and diabetes. Moreover, the remote medical care has also expanded to local prisons, namely 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,” said Takorn Tantasith, Secretary-General of the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
“Thailand has the advantages of the successful 5G auction and of being one of the 5G leaders in ASEAN. The NBTC recognizes 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,” added the Secretary-General of the NBTC.
After the first test trial in Siriraj Hospital, the oldest and largest hospital in Thailand at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, the NBTC will evaluate the benefits and efficiency of the 5G-enable unmanned vehicle before maximizing results from this pilot project to leverage the unmanned vehicle in different uses, as well as in other hospitals.
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Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa, Dean of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, said, “As a result of COVID-19 situation, the safety of patients and medical workers must be prioritized, 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 project of 5G unmanned vehicle will enhance the central logistics system within the hospital. At the initial stage, it will be used to transport and distribute medicines for contactless delivery which will help reduce workload and infection risks of 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 Thailand, said that, “As a global leading company in technology, Huawei is honored and delighted to continuously take part in assisting Thai medical staff. The pilot project of driverless vehicle for Siriraj Hospital will operate under Huawei’s 5G technology to help transport medical supplies within the hospital. This pilot project exemplifies the accelerated digitalization 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.”