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Thailand: Innovations for Infectious Disease Control

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A team of health experts in Thailand announced their innovation in driving new technology in patient separation and movement. This endeavour aims to support Thailand’s stability in the field of medical devices for emerging infectious diseases.

The revelation was made by Dr Nopporn Chuenklin, Director of the Health Systems Research Institute; Ms Waraporn Suchachit, Director of the National Research Council of Thailand’s Research and innovation mission in Medicine and public health; Dr Jitporn Thamminda, Director of the Center of Excellence for Life Sciences, and Dr Chulathep Kajonchaikul, Director of the National Metal and Materials Technology Center.

Dr Chulathep explained that a research team from MTEC, NSTDA, collaborated with medical professionals from various agencies to develop an innovative Negative Pressure Emergency Transportation Equipment (PETE) stretcher for COVID-19 patients.

The technology was transferred to one medical innovation and technology company in Thailand, registered as a medical device, and distributed to multiple agencies nationwide. MTEC continues to receive research grants to expand innovation in domestic and international markets.

Building upon the knowledge acquired from developing the PETE Stretcher, the research team has expanded their efforts to create a negative pressure tent. This tent is designed for individuals who require home isolation but lack a dedicated isolation room and for field hospitals to isolate and quarantine patients at risk of transmitting respiratory infections.

Moreover, the product has undergone extensive testing to ensure compliance with international standards, including filtering efficiency and safety. It is lightweight, easily movable, and can be temporarily installed as a medical room in areas with infection risks. The tent reduces personnel’s time, workload, and risk of infection.

Additionally, it is easy to clean and can be adjusted in size to accommodate different areas. Each tent delivery to user agencies is made possible through the support of Eastern Polymer Group Public Company Limited, which provides the necessary field beds and equipment.

Dr Nopporn underscored the importance of technology and innovation in addressing infectious diseases like COVID-19. To prevent the spread of infections, the institute has supported the development of innovative sets for separating and transferring negative pressure patients. These include the PETE Stretcher and HI PETE Tent, designed for easy installation in emergency rooms.

Dr Jitporn emphasised that one of TCELS’ key strategies is to prioritise essential projects to enhance competitiveness in Medicine and health. The focus lies on promoting innovation in downstream Medicine and health, specifically concerning high-value innovative medical equipment materials and devices.

Dr Sarawut also mentioned that a series of innovative solutions have been developed to aid in separating and transferring patients to combat emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

Locally produced medical devices are designed to meet stringent international safety and performance standards, ensuring their reliability and effectiveness in healthcare settings. Moreover, these domestically manufactured devices offer a compelling advantage in terms of cost, with selling prices typically ranging from 2 to 3 times lower compared to imported alternatives. This significant price difference enhances accessibility to quality medical devices and reduces healthcare costs for patients and healthcare providers.

The research team has ensured these innovations meet international standards for filtering efficiency and electrical safety. This research aims to support the development of domestically produced medical devices and reduce reliance on imports. It is crucial in addressing the severity and impact of emerging and re-emerging diseases in Thailand.


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