Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC)-funded 5G digital health innovation project has launched a prototype of medical watches for seniors to bridge the digital access gap and promote preventive healthcare systems.
Last year, the NBTC’s Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for Public Interest provided Khon Kaen University with 15 million baht for project development.
The project is a collaboration with many state organizations, including ministries and provincial administration organizations, to support welfare access for the elderly, paving the way for their cooperation to create a “smart living lab” in the future, according to Trairat Viriyasirikul, acting secretary-general of the NBTC.
Mr Trairat stated that medical watches for patients increase the elderly’s ability to access social services and employ digital technologies to improve their quality of life.
Medical watches for seniors
He said the NBTC also intends to develop a trial system of social welfare services for elders based on digital technology.
Mr Trairat stated that the project created 100 prototype health monitoring medical watches, which will be managed and distributed to specific locations throughout four provinces for testing by the elderly and their families. The four provinces of Thailand are Lampang, Khon Kaen, Ayutthaya, and Songkhla.
The medical watches’ capabilities include basic health monitoring such as pulse rate, blood sugar level, blood pressure, and oxygenation rate.
He stated that the data from the medical watches will be linked to outside medical units or agencies for monitoring and investigation.
“The watch prototype requires further support and development to ensure its effectiveness as a digital health monitoring system,” stated Mr Trairat. He stated that cooperation between all key agencies is important for progress.
The first phase of the 5G digital health innovation project for medical watches for seniors runs from 2023 to mid-2024.
Rina Patramanon, a lecturer at Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Sciences and the project’s research director, explained that the project arose from a simulation model of digital services based on the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G technologies produced through collaboration between five agencies.
This research involves 2,000 older adults testing medical watches for patients. She stated that the participating organisations may be involved in delivering the watches and information monitoring systems to the testers.
However, Ms Rina stated that implementing a statewide health monitoring system necessitates a wider scale of development and active collaboration among agencies and all project stakeholders.
Kitkamon Maitree, CEO of Tely 360, the company that developed the prototype watch’s platform and operating system, stated that the company designed the watch’s components and functions before hiring a Chinese factory to produce the devices on an original equipment manufacturer basis, totalling 100 medical watches for seniors during the prototype phase.
He stated that the first batch of medical watches still requires a nano SIM card to link the information from the original development.
Tely 360 plans to develop the function using an eSIM for medical watches in the future, according to Mr Kitkamon.