Under the Thailand 4.0 policy, the government launched various healthcare applications such as H4U (personal health profile app), Smart Health ID (patient administration cloud service) and Primary Care Cluster App (telehealth and telemedicine) during 2018–2020.
GlobalData’s report, "CountryFocus: Healthcare, Regulatory and Reimbursement Landscape – Thailand," reveals that between 2017–2020, hospitals/health systems, health care IT (for vendor technologies such as electronic health records and clinical decision support), primary care, pharmaceuticals, and commercial payers were the top five healthcare verticals in need of disruptive innovation in Thailand.
Tathagata Ghosh, a medical devices analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Rising elderly population, increasing digital penetration and supportive government policies such as incentivising manufacturers of high-risk or high-technology medical devices are some of the factors driving the healthtech market in Thailand.”
Thailand offers a conducive environment for investment in digital health. However, preference for local products, insufficient intellectual property rights protection and complicated tax exemption rules are some of the challenges that need to be addressed to increase foreign investments in Thailand’s healthtech sector.
The Thai government is also using artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G technology to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic. This is helping doctors to quickly and accurately distinguish early, advanced, and severe stages of COVID-19, leading to better diagnoses.
Ghosh concluded: “Thailand is showing success in providing better health services to its people by improving its healthtech industry. However, the country still has plenty to do in the healthtech sector to catch up with other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore.”