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New robot to assist the elderly in Thailand

According to a recent report, the second generation of a service robot for the elderly has been announced.

This second generation of the robot provides care for the elderly and Alzheimer’s patients, with a new feature using artificial intelligence.

The Chief Executive of the company that developed the robot, i.e., Bangkok’s pioneer robot maker, stated that there are at least 600,000 Alzheimer’s patients in Thailand, and robots could serve these families as an assistant.

The new generation of the robot comes with facial recognition and voice recognition, training the robot to recognise family members and understand patients’ sounds, even if their condition worsens and their sound changes. And, it was noted that its accuracy is over 80%.

The robot needs 3-4 months to be able to observe patients’ routines, then it can send notifications to care, providers, if the patient is doing something other than their routine activities or that may be dangerous.

The robot can also receive a phone call and remind a patient to take medicine or drink water.

What sets the machine apart is its brain exercises, with the robot encouraging patients to play games or teaching them to learn new things to recall their memories. The new version will be available from Healthy Max priced at 85,000 baht, reduced to 65,000 baht on Father’s Day. The rental price is 2,900 baht per month, it was noted.

The first version has been on the market for two years in Thailand and Japan, used at Samitivej and Chulalongkorn hospitals here, and nursing homes in Japan.

Early next year, the company wants to introduce a new robot for the retail sector, said the Chief Executive.

The robot will be designed as a sales assistant that can recognise shoppers and recommend products suited to their preferences.

According to the company’s website, the timeline of the robot’s development follows this course: in 2009, the company built the first service robot in Thailand as well as the first in the ASEAN region. They name it Dinsow.

The aim was that in the near future robots will help the human like us especially in the areas that have a shortage of human resources such as health care services.

In 2010, the company then built 10 restaurant service robots for a large restaurant chain in Thailand.

Later, in 2014, the company built 14 robots for the Robot Restaurant in Lidköping, Sweden that were able to take the customers’ orders as well as deliver the food to their table.

After years of partnering with hospitals in Thailand and in Japan, the company launched this iteration of Dinsow, which is a robot for elderly care service.

Since 2015, the Dinsows have been able to deliver full service in many countries including Japan and EU.

What’s more, according to the Smart City Association (SCA) of Thailand, The Thailand government aims to provide Smart Healthcare which involves the latest digital and mobile devices.

This type of healthcare will involve the use of the Internet of Things (IoT through sensors that will collect the patient’s data remotely. This data can then be stored and analyzed by doctors, researchers and health care professionals for better diagnosis and solutions.

These digital records are saving cost and time of both patients and hospitals as they are not only offering personalized treatments and medications but giving preventive measures through real-time data collection.

Considering this to be a future of healthcare, many companies are investing in IoT healthcare and wearable devices which collect data and build them into a structured form. They are also using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the assessment and possible outcome of these data for prompt solutions.

Many times, when specialized doctors are located elsewhere, the help of robots is also taken for communicating, diagnosing and treating the patients.

Thus, the company’s product (i.e., service robot) is consistent with Thailand’s Smart City vision and the nation could benefit from a public-private partnership (PPP) in the future.

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