During a recent technology conference between industry leaders, Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society reported that digital transformation in the country had increased more than 20 percent over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has rapidly adopted different technologies such as e-money, cloud-based applications, artificial intelligence (AI), and other digital solutions.
In Thailand, the application of such technology is prominent in several industries, most notably in the medical and healthcare sector wherein smart hospitals have emerged as a promising investment opportunity for interested parties.
Digital Health Ecosystem in Thailand
In the YCP Solidiance whitepaper, The Future of Smart Hospitals in Thailand, several business opportunities relevant to digital healthcare and smart hospitals are discussed. Specifically, there is an opportunity for interested parties to explore asset management and the infrastructure of smart hospitals.
Considering that there is a lack of manpower among hospitals in Thailand, one of the key areas in smart hospital implementation will concern the operational efficiency of facilities. Thus, solution vendors who specialize in the implementation of smart technologies like self-registration kiosks and self-pay terminals may capitalize on this market opportunity. Moreover, service providers may also look to enter the healthcare market via tools like pharmacy robots.
While smart hospital operations will depend highly on the integration of smart solutions, the success of these facilities will also be determined by the infrastructure available. In the coming years, the most important component of smart hospital infrastructure and its digitalization will be 5G networks. By equipping smart hospitals with the necessary 5G infrastructure, several advantages are ensured, such as Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capability. Having access to such smart tools will allow for improved patient monitoring, cloud-based AI diagnoses, resource allocation, and data collection & analytics.
Potential Partnerships for Smart Hospitals
To allow for the entry of solution vendors that will improve asset management and service providers that will improve infrastructure, smart hospitals will likely seek out partnerships. For instance, the oldest and largest hospital in Thailand, Siriraj Hospital, partnered with Huawei in December 2020 to launch Thailand’s first smart hospital powered by 5G technology. In the future, hospitals aiming to transform and adopt smart technologies will likely follow a similar path as it allows for a seamless transition.
Beyond this, the public sector has also recognized the potential value that smart hospitals in Thailand can provide, especially in consideration of the growing population and the government’s desire to maintain quality healthcare. Thus, public-private partnerships which aim to bolster smart hospital efforts will likely be an area of interest for potential investors.
While the development of smart hospitals in Thailand is still in its early stages, there are signs which indicate its promising potential as an investment opportunity for foreign and domestic players alike. With industries and businesses already looking into digitalization efforts, expect smart hospitals to continue to be a relevant healthcare venture in years to come.