NHSO, NT and Bitkub partner to build Thailand's national health platform on blockchain – Healthcare IT News

Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health; Dr Jadet Thammathatchaaree, NHSO Secretary-General; Somsak Khaosuwan, NT Director and Acting President; Wichai Thongtang, Chairman of Bitkub World Tech; and Jirayut Sapsrisosopha Founder and CEO of Bitkub Capital Group at the signing of the MOU in NT's head office on 28 March
Credit: National Telecommunications Public Co.
Thailand’s National Health Security Office, National Telecommunications Public Co., and Bitkub World Tech, have teamed up to develop a national health platform that integrates the country’s various health services.
On Monday, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a project where they will jointly study, test, and develop new digital technologies in data linkage with the aim of further digitising the delivery of healthcare services in Thailand.
Under this collaboration, the NHSO, which manages the country’s national health insurance scheme, will provide information, policies, regulations related to the development of the health platform, while the state-owned telecommunications firm NT will deliver its telecommunication and IT systems, such as internet network services, 4G and 5G networks, cloud computing, cybersecurity and data centres.
Meanwhile, Bitkub World Tech, a joint venture firm by cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub and the Thongtang Group, will help develop digital health IDs and run the health platform on the blockchain. It was said that the application of blockchain technology will enable the verification and protection of patients’ personal information.
The national health platform is targeted to be piloted by the end of the year, once it completes the integration of various health datasets, including ​​those data involving migrant workers from neighbouring countries. 
WHY IT MATTERS
Anutin Charnvirakul, deputy prime minister and minister of public health, said the Thai government intends to improve the quality of public health services in the country by using modern technology to connect and integrate health data efficiently and holistically. Doing so, he said, requires cooperation from the public and private sectors.
The national health platform is envisioned to support equality in access to healthcare, as well as the development of telemedicine. Through the platform, patients can book health appointments, check their insurance coverage, and receive compensation. 
THE LARGER TREND
Last year, five organisations from the public and private sectors joined forces to work on a project that will create a 5G-powered smart medical information and full-service system. Called the Thailand Health Data Space 5G, the project marks the first phase of development of Thailand’s Big Data Health Information platform, which comprises big data infrastructure, a nationwide information system of hospital networks, and a network of health service applications.
NT was also involved in a public-private partnership project last year that built the BKK HI Care telemedicine platform for monitoring COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms at home and at community isolation centres. 
In September last year, Huawei Thailand signed an MOU with the Department of Medical Services to bring 5G technologies to two public hospitals, National Cancer Institute and Rajavithi Hospital.
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