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Innovativeness key to be a medical hub

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Innovativeness key to be a medical hub

By Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn 
The Nation

 

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Dr Atul Gupta, Philips’ chief medical officer for image-guided therapy.

 

Philips exec says Thailand an important market for company’s new solutions

 

Given the rapid growth of the elderly population in Asean and Thailand, Philips sees high potenฌtial for expanding its role in the region’s medical and healthcare industry, said Dr Atul Gupta, the company’s chief medical officer for imageguided therapy.

 

“I have seen firsthand the growing elderly population in Thailand, and in fact throughout Asia. Currently, over 12 per cent of the population in the region is over 60 years old. The ageing population means that my fellow-physicians are seeing a surge in cardiovascular issues, such as heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disฌeases. The situation is similar to that in the US and Europe. Philips provides innovations to diagnose and treat patients nonsurgically, using imageguided therapy [IGT] procedures. One patient, every single second, somewhere on Earth is treated with one of Philips’ IGT solutions. This is only going to grow,” he said.

 

Atul cited, as an example, the surgery to open blockages in heart arteries – which traditionally requires an opening on the chest to access the heart, thus exposing the patient to infection, bleeding, and long recovery in the hospital. 

 

“With our minimally invasive IGT procedures, smart catheters can be inserted into the body via a small incision no larger than a pencilpoint, guided to the blocked artery with our Azurion system. The patient is treated and can often go home the same or the next day. This comes with fewer risks, and a much shorter recovery period,” he added.

 

“I was told by a cardiac surgeon at Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital that there is a oneyear backlog of patients waiting to be treated for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), with most in the late stages of development and far more complex to cure.” 

 

The opportunity for imageguided therapy, with its hospitalisation measured in hours to days, rather than days to weeks as with surgery, will go far to help eliminate this backlog and save lives in Thailand, he said.

 

“At Philips we are laser-focused, working closely with leading doctors and hospitals in the research and development of new technology to improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of treatment,” said Atul. 

 

He said a group from the Philips IGT leadership team visited hospitals in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea late last month. 

“There were 130 doctors from Asean countries participating in a regional meeting held recently at the Philips APAC Centre in Singapore, for an exchange of views and knowledge. A tremendous amount of medical innovation is coming out of Asean countries these days. I have seen their remarkable devices and new technology firsthand at global medical congresses and in medical journals. But there are unique challenges in the Asean heathcare industry,” he said. 

 

“They are seen in the treatment of diseases in the late stage of development, lengthy waiting list, a shortage of trained personnel, and the unique characteristics of the patients’ arteries. Our ambition is to work with Asean doctors and hospitals to cocreate medical devices and technologies, specifically designed for this region. Collaboration always leads to the best innovation,” said Atul.

 

He added that with Thailand’s propensity for the latest innovation in healthcare, the country is an important market for Philips’ new solutions. 

‘Topnotch services’

 

“ On my visits to Chulabhorn Hospital and Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, two of our business partฌners, I saw topnotch services from the doctors and staff.

 

There were also patients from other countries seeking innovative treatment. It seems the government’s efforts to promote Thailand as a “Medical Hub of Asia” is clearly working,” he noted. 

 

In regard to business expansion in Asean, Atul said regional hospiฌtals are expanding their footprint by enlarging existing facilities and establishing new branches. 

 

“However, there is a common refrain that the Asean healthcare industry, including Thailand, faces a shortage of doctors and staff trained in minimallyinvasive medical procedures and technology. Philips sees a big opportunity to address these issues, and to improve access to highquality healthcare service across the region. For instance, we have formed a partnership with King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital's Cardiac Center to train healthcare workers in advanced 2D and 3D cardiac imaging techniques.

 

“Through training, we hope to address the shortage of skilled manpower in Thailand and work with local stakeholders to grow the market. Philips’ strong belief in fostering longterm partnership with local healthcare players truly differentiates us from others,” he said.

 

Atul said the Thai government’s efforts to promote Thailand as a medical hub in the region has seen much progress. The growing numฌber of hospitals with worldclass medical services and the technical and medical expertise of the physicians, contributed to a sound foundation for the Thai healthcare industry.  “I recently had a fascinating discussion with the esteemed cardiologist, Dr Nithi Mahanonda,  who is secretary general of Bangkok’s Chulabhorn Royal Academy of Science and runs a hypermodern hospital and a medical school to train Thailand’s doctors of tomorrow. 

 

Dr Nithi has developed a health data sciences curriculum, teaching students on topics such as artificial intelligence, to improve service and hasten hospital workflows. This is extremely forward thinking and I have not seen it in other parts of the world, including medical schools at home in the United States. 

 

It is this type of innovativeness that will further bolster Thailand’s standing as the Asean medical hub,” said Atul.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/business/30369652

 

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

Through training, we hope to address the shortage of skilled manpower in Thailand

Among the article's other 90+% of fluff, this is the important point. 

 

Not enough skills. And Phillips hopes to cash in on training and equipment sales. 

 

Nothing about Thais being innovative. 

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While ever people use the roads as they do, Thailand will always be a medical hub......for locals!

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What has Thai medical science ever innovated here? all their knowledge, drugs, equipment and procedures originated abroad, from mostly western countries or japan.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

Philips exec says Thailand an important market for company’s new solutions

It's a great place to test new stuff because things can't go wrong here can they?

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Posted (edited)

in medicine it is possible.  

 

an anecdote.  I was waiting at Suandok Hospital in Chiangmai, an excellent facility for sure, while my Thai wife had some procedure done.  a doctor recognized that I was reading 'Behave', the epic tome by Robert Sapolsky.  that's impressive.  and it would only at all likely occur at a hospital.

you do get it, right?  reading.  knowing who Sapolsky is on the spot.  and any chance at all for "innovation".  let alone even being able to program a simple web site by hand.  it all requires being able to read.  books and journals. or tech manuals. and to have a love of doing it as well, which for most of us is easy as long as we are not stuck doing it in a phonetically written language set as our primary upper diglossia, after being translated no matter how wonderfully that ever gets even with AI software.

in medicine that is possible.  because of the reading thing.  and one other thing, already mentioned just above.    

Edited by WeekendRaider

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Is there such a word as 'innovativeness'?

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50 minutes ago, WeekendRaider said:

in medicine it is possible.  

 

an anecdote.  I was waiting at Suandok Hospital in Chiangmai, an excellent facility for sure, while my Thai wife had some procedure done.  a doctor recognized that I was reading 'Behave', the epic tome by Robert Sapolsky.  that's impressive.  and it would only at all likely occur at a hospital.

you do get it, right?  reading.  knowing who Sapolsky is on the spot.  and any chance at all for "innovation".  let alone even being able to program a simple web site by hand.  it all requires being able to read.  books and journals. or tech manuals. and to have a love of doing it as well, which for most of us is easy as long as we are not stuck doing it in a phonetically written language set as our primary upper diglossia, after being translated no matter how wonderfully that ever gets even with AI software.

in medicine that is possible.  because of the reading thing.  and one other thing, already mentioned just above.    

Many of us know 1 or 2 Thais who are highly educated or at least well-schooled. 

 

However, almost all of us would acknowledge there are too few of them to make much difference in Thailand. 

 

And anyway, about your potentially well-read doctor, I have known well-read Thais who despite their ostensible knowledge still act in ways that baffle.

 

I've been saying for decades that the issue in Thailand is not the ability to learn and acquire knowledge. The issue is in overcoming a largely broken culture that prevents them from using knowledge at all or for all the wrong, selfish, corrupt reasons. 

 

Anyone can read a book. Not everyone has moral courage to apply knowledge. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, ThaiBunny said:

The most educated Thai I know spent his career teaching university abroad after being also educated abroad. Now retired in Bangkok he is shunned by his fellow Thais for being insufficiently Thai (ie. no group-think)

Exactly. In-group vs Out-group.

 

I know several like this as well. I've seen this type of thing across Asia. It's how they control the culture and why it changes so slowly. 

 

This is why when people say "the Thai youth will change things", I usually smile and disagree. Thai culture has had no meaningful change in a hundred years. 

 

They are the same people. Some may think that is beautiful and some may think it's an advantage. Others disagree. 

Edited by Fex Bluse

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1 hour ago, Orton Rd said:

What has Thai medical science ever innovated here? all their knowledge, drugs, equipment and procedures originated abroad, from mostly western countries or japan.

Didn't they cure Ibola a few years back? I recall seeing something in Thaivisa about it. 

 

Sadly, they must have not shared the discovery with the global community because the disease is still being fought. 

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2 minutes ago, Fex Bluse said:

I know several like this as well. I've seen this type of thing across Asia. It's how they control the culture and why it changes so slowly.

At one point the number of Nobel prizes for the various scientific areas among Japanese who stayed in Japan was zero vs. those who had migrated to (usually) the USA. The reason given was that to develop the mindset that would lead to a Nobel prize meant you had to challenge your peers and especially your professors. Such a thing was a complete no-no in Japan

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Another sugary advertorial disguised as editorial. How many more are we expected to stomach?

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