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National Science and Technology Development Agency cites health as the main sector in Thailand with the most tech innovation trends this year

Thailand’s top technological trends for this year come from health tech, digital tech, artificial intelligence and material tech.

An announcement from the Bangkok Post highlighted how health technology is the top sector to contribute among the top 10 technological innovations to watch for this year.

The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) declared that among the top 10 technologies to watch out for this year are health/medical tech, digital tech, artificial intelligence (AI) and material tech.

NSTDA President Narong Sirilertworakul said that research and development (R&D) is capable of affecting social and economic development.

He explained that six out of the top 10 tech trends this year are from the medical field. He said, “Health tech is one of the most advanced sectors this year.”

Malaria is a health concern for many countries. The first technology trend is the Wolbachia, which targets mosquitoes. This technology makes use of the Wolbachia bacteria in order to eradicate mosquitoes, addressing the problem of malaria. Moreover, Mr Narong added that this technology can be shared with other parts of the world such as Africa.

A second technology trend from the health sector is edible vaccines. These vaccines are made from transgenic plants, which make use of agrobacterium and are produced for pharmaceuticals. Edible vaccines are better alternatives for parents since they are more cost-effective and are more convenient. These vaccines remove the need for parent to bring their children to the hospital for injections.

Mr Narong explained, “Thailand can capitalise on this trend as we have various kinds of herbs.”

Personalised medicine is advocated by the third technology trend because cell lines will be used for drug testing instead of testing on animals.

Two techniques used for personalised therapy will be the focus of the fourth technology trend. Personalised treatment will look into building stem cells and reprogramming cells, which will then be combined with genetic design.

Retrieving information directly from the human system is the aim of the fifth technology trend. Nanoneedles that are integrated with sensors will be able to get vital information such as blood sugar levels for those with diabetes.

The sixth technology trend focuses on the use of nanovalves for drug delivery. Nanovalves are a new kind of nanoscopic valve.

Material science and customised sound absorbers are the seventh technology trend according to Mr Narong. He said that the customised sound absorbers are able to absorb sounds at different frequencies and are cheaper by around 50% than imported ones.

The NSTDA is collaborating with private firms to develop the eighth technology trend, which is 3D printing for metals. This technology can be used for different industries like healthcare, aerospace, and automobile.

Cyber technology and physical technology constitute the ninth technology trend. City management systems are greatly improve with the aid of Internet of Things (IoT), communications, and Cloud. Integration of both physical and digital aspects will advance the systems.

Chatbots complete the ten technology trends to look out for this year. Chatbots will be used alongside smart speakers, service robots or digital assistants for smart homes.

Thailand’s pain points can be addressed by this key solution: an integration of multidisciplinary technologies with imaginative thinking.

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