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Thailand’s Khon Kaen and Phuket recognised for their smart-city projects

Khon Kaen and Phuket cities were recognised as having the most outstanding smart-city projects in Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) by IDC Thailand for the 2018 IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards (SCAPA).

The Khon Kaen Smart Health project won under the “Public Health and Social Services” category while the Phuket Smart Tourism and Living Communities project won under the “Tourism, Arts, Libraries, Culture and Open Spaces” category. 

According to the report made by The Nation, both of the winning projects showcased the best practices of urban innovation focusing on the use of technologies such as cloud, platforms, analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile solutions as well as data, unique partnerships, funding models and/or community involvement.

An initiative by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) with local healthcare service providers and universities, the Khon Kaen Smart Health project has three components.

The first component is a smart ambulance that utilises teleconference, IoT, and robotics technology to increase emergency dispatch operation efficiency.

It allows healthcare professionals to perform initial diagnostic work and emergency treatment before the patients arrive at the hospitals.

The second component is the preventive healthcare service. It leverages on smart wristbands and smart home solutions to monitor and collect the health data of the citizens and give health guidance accordingly.

The third component is still being developed. Blockchain and big data analytics are being used to develop a medical data-sharing platform that can be accessed by both public and private healthcare service providers.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, together with DEPA, have jointly initiated the Phuket Smart Tourism and Living Communities project along with various government agencies, Prince of Songkla University and Phuket City Development in order to ensure sustainable tourism and safety in the city. 

This project has several components that include smart tourism, public safety, smart environment, and smart government.

Citywide free high-speed Wi-Fi, the Phuket Smart City application, and the smart wristbands for tourists constitute the smart tourism component.

The public safety component is guaranteed by deploying CCTV cameras equipped with analytics capabilities that have licence plate and facial recognition as well as vessel-tracking system.

Waste-water management system that utilises IoT technology is what the smart environment component is all about.

The smart government component, meanwhile, is about creating a city data platform to provide real-time city data to support decision-making.

IDC Thailand Head of Operations Mr Jarit Sidhu explained that the smart-city transformation is on full swing in the Asia Pacific region.

Collaboration among all levels, from the government agencies to the grassroots citizens is vital especially since these transformations have major economic, social and environmental implications.

The DEPA has proven its potential for carrying out smart-city transformation, wherein they leveraged on emerging technologies and innovation to make cities more liveable and its residents to be forward-looking.

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