Thailand has a diverse healthcare landscape. The country boasts a robust private healthcare infrastructure that benefits from a medical tourism market, but a weak public healthcare system that is struggling to support its citizens. However, there is a new influx of Healthtech startups in Thailand that are paving the way towards accessible health care and education for the population. The country’s freshest batch of entrepreneurs have been busy creating modern solutions to fill some of the problematic gaps Thailand’s current healthcare environment faces.
Southeast Asia’s healthtech scene is off to a strong start
Healthtech startups in Thailand have covered a diverse scope, from accessible medical and psychology practitioners, online nutrition and fitness education, to new technology that is breaking through communication barriers for paralysed patients. Here we take a look at the names that are hitting the ground running in the Thailand healthtech startup scene.
The online platform provides a one-stop solution for clinics by connecting them to suppliers and distributors of disposable medical equipment and products in Southeast Asia. A B2B e-commerce marketplace for the medical world, Medvine was founded in 2017 by Neil Walker, Robert Milsom, and Sakol Assawasagool. CEO Robert Milsom has 17 years experience working with sales, marketing, business development, and operation teams within Thailand and the Asia-Pacific region. The startup was funded by startup studio, Santora Nakama, who work with entrepreneurs throughout Southeast Asia.
This impressive startup is successfully changing the lives of paralysed patients by providing computer interface technology to help them communicate. Brain Dynamics was first known as Brain Dynamic Technology Co. Ltd, a research and development company founded in 2014 in Thailand. The company has now established itself in Singapore, where it has been trading as Brain Dynamics since 2017. With a passion for bettering the quality of life for those who are unable to communicate, the team has created a new method of communication using a platform that can read and interpret brain signals. Brain Dynamics’ system, combining a wireless brain signal measuring device with speech-generating software, enables the user to communicate easily by controlling a tablet using their brain signals.
Kanpassorn Suriyasangpetch founded OOca in 2016. Finding it difficult to access a psychologist during stressful times studying dentistry, Suriyasangpetch came up with the idea of an online platform that provides counselling services to individuals from qualified psychologists and psychiatrists. The online wellness app is the first of its kind in Thailand and landed Suriyasangoetch on the BBC’s list of top 100 women of 2018. With the concept of visiting psychologists unfamiliar to many of the Thai population, OOca is filling a significant gap in the mental health sector by providing individuals with a safe space to seek help, from the comfort of their own home. The platform offers consistency by allowing individuals repeat sessions with one therapist, and the ease of booking a preferred time with a practitioner of their choice.
Chiiwii Live is a mobile application offering real-time phone consultations for women needing minor healthcare services. With public healthcare systems primarily available only in cities, Chiiwii LIVE co-founder Piraya Tamrongterakul created the platform with efficiency and accessibility in mind. The application has certified medical doctors and practising nurses who can arrange real-time appointments with their chosen practitioner. iOS and Android users can opt for chat, voice call, and video call consultations when using the app on their smartphone. The Chiiwii team is currently working on a Q&A Webboard moderated by a team of medical specialists. The goal is to provide reliable health information to the public, along with a community space for people to share their own thoughts and experiences with each other.
Thongchai Thummasalee founded PlanforFIT to help users set and achieve their fitness goals in one easy to access spot. The online platform is successfully providing a convenient one-stop location packed full of basic health, nutrition, and fitness information. PlanforFIT users can access online fitness courses, nutrition advice and plans, information on supplements, and products, giving them all the tools and support needed to reach their health and fitness targets successfully.
New technology will never replace a strong healthcare and medical infrastructure system, but the growth of healthtech in Thailand is proving successful in providing better access to necessary services that can change lives for the better.
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Though still in its infancy,Thailand’s startup scene has come a long way over the last seven years. The opening of True Digital Park, a community space that welcomes all forms of startups, has given the ecosystem the boost it needs to flourish and support Thailand’s new waves of local entrepreneurs. There may still be a long way to go before they catch up with countries such as Singapore, but Thailand is showcasing promising local talent and producing quality Southeast Asia tech trends worth watching.