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Bengaluru, NFAPost: Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has joined forces with a Thai state hospital and Huawei Technologies, in launching an unmanned vehicle using 5G communications to deliver contactless medical supplies.

“Dubbed ‘Unmanned Vehicle Pilot Project Driving Thai Healthcare to 5G Era,’ the self-driving car will be the first unmanned vehicle used for the first time as a testing kit at Siriraj Hospital, to see its efficiency and without needing physical interaction between people, ” said NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith.

The 5G technology is supplied by Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd, with technical and communication capabilities including delivering medical supplies through complicated routes in the compound of Siriraj Hospital.

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.

“It will relieve the workloads of medical personnel and save their costs and time. It will be a step forward toward developing smart hospitals,” said NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith.

NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith said that after the test trial at Siriraj Hospital, the NBTC will evaluate the benefits and efficiency of the 5G-enabled unmanned vehicle before adopting this pilot project in other hospitals.

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.

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 prioritised, 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,” said Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa, Dean of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University.

Huawei Thailand Chief Executive Officer Abel Deng 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,” said Huawei Thailand Chief Executive Officer Abel Deng

Huawei Thailand Chief Executive Officer Abel Deng said 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,” said Huawei Thailand Chief Executive Officer Abel Deng.

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