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Popular Investment Area in Thailand’s Healthcare Industry

04 May 2021 | Thailand

Seamless patient flow has been one of the most popular investment areas for public hospitals in Thailand. As the trend of transforming into smart hospitals is growing heavily due to the rising demand for public hospitals in 2020, the healthcare service providers face challenges in meeting the needs of local and foreign patients looking for state-of-the-art health solutions. IT software suppliers, medical device makers, and other health-tech providers are selling competing to sell their products to Thai hospitals to equip them with more innovative technology.

The Chinese network operator Huawei has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Thai hospital Siriraj Hospital to develop 5G innovative services through Cloud and AI up to 2025. This partnership seeks to leverage digital technology to increase medical service efficacy and improve the quality of Thailand's healthcare services by integrating 5G technology with big data and cloud edge computing.

Siriraj Hospital's approach would allow the hospital to monitor patients through data collection analytics through cloud-based AI diagnoses, eventually enabling a more effective resource allocation and better patient treatments.

Pharmacy robots are also one of the most popular alternatives for hospital asset management since dispensing medication in hospitals is inherently complex. Therefore, technology can help streamline operations and reduce the length of the process.

Investing in the Backbone of Hospital Operation

Thai hospitals also adapt core information systems to manage management operations such as finances, human resources, and lab information systems. However, recent research has shown that hospitals are more willing to invest in medical devices than information system technologies. Middle-sized hospitals in Thailand with 200 to 300-bed capacity are eager to spend around 80 to 150 Million THB for an information system technology advancement but over 400 Million THB on innovative medical equipment.

The trend in investing in medical devices instead of the operating system has resulted in only a few Thai hospitals effectively using the informational system. These companies now face a unique healthcare scheme that requires customization that is not standardized and applies only to them. The problem ranges from accommodating physicians' specific requirements, private insurances, public payment schemes, and social insurances that still need some development some hospitals are unwilling to pay.

Opportunities for Better Solutions

As Thai hospitals adopt more innovative technology, there is still room for new players to position themselves as a better solution in the market. Thai hospitals seem to take a multitude of tech adoptions depending on their urgent needs and other consideration concerning the institution's cost and financial well-being. The higher-end level of the country's hospitals is most concerned with competitions both domestic and regionally. In contrast, the rest of the hospitals are pressured with limited costs and high patient demands. They are still figuring out how to facilitate the aging demographic of Thailand citizens effectively.

Tech and medical healthcare services vendors would play a big part in providing the technology required for Thai hospitals to be innovative. 5G connectivity would help reduce bottlenecks and help public hospitals develop an operating system that help accelerates the patient's journey, enabling them to offer services to the arising healthcare demand. In contrast, medical healthcare services vendors would help provide the technologies to support the hospitals' quality to compete in the global healthcare market.



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