Information technology company NEC Thailand and Chiang Mai Municipality have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a digital health platform as part of Chiang Mai’s conversion to a ‘smart city’.

The platform aims to support the healthcare system in Chiang Mai, particularly in caring for elderly and chronically ill patients.

It will also examine the possibility of using other applications in the region under the ‘Smart Hospital’ theme.

NEC Thailand president Ichiro Kurihara said: “We are delighted to expand on our earlier trial with a local nursing home in Chiang Mai to one that involves the municipality.

“Thailand needs to evolve its healthcare system to manage the effects of an ageing population, and we are glad to take the first step together with the local authorities to develop a digital health platform in three key phases for patients in Chiang Mai.”

In the project’s initial phase, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and an app will be deployed to inform patients’ caregivers and relatives in emergencies.

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The second phase will involve remote health monitoring and managing patient appointments and medication requests using Cloud-based systems.

In addition, the collaboration will enable telemedicine services by allowing patients to receive diagnoses and consultations from home for mild illnesses or follow-up treatments.

Kurihara added: “This partnership marks a significant milestone in NEC’s vision of creating sustainable societies empowered by technology.

“We have identified healthcare as a key focus area where Thailand needs significant improvements to manage the effects of an ageing population.

“With the digital platform for Chiang Mai’s healthcare system in phase one, we aim to enhance access to quality medical services and improve the overall well-being of residents.

“We are excited by this collaboration and look forward to working closely with Chiang Mai Municipality to shape the future of Chiang Mai.”