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Huawei Pilots Unmanned Vehicle With 5G Technology to Deliver Medical Supplies in Thailand

Huawei, together with Thailand National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Communication (NBTC) and Siriraj Hospital, initiated on Thursday “Unmanned Vehicle Pilot Project Driving Thai Healthcare to 5G Era” to pioneer the use of an unmanned vehicle for the first time in smart hospital in this ASEAN country.

The self-driving delivery vehicle takes advantage of 5G technology from Huawei to bring about a contactless delivery solution of medical supplies.

Such technology can replace manpower in logistics services as it can operate in complex environments. The 5G technology integration will then be progressively applied in the national health system for Smart Hospital transformation in the near future.

“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 the 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. 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.”