Bangkok, Thailand – Khon Kaen University, together with the Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN), Mahidol University, CLINIXIR, Bangkok Bank, and Standards and Interoperability Lab – Thailand (SIL-TH), held the Thailand Health Artificial Intelligence (AI) Conference and Datathon 2023  on October 3 – 6, 2023. It was the first Datathon event in Thailand supported by various stakeholders. This event comprised three main activities as follows:

  • October 3, 2023: Thailand Health AI Summit at the Athenee Hotel, Bangkok
  • October 4 – 5, 2023: Thailand Health AI Datathon at Khon Kaen University
  • October 6, 2023: Thailand Health AI Symposium at Khon Kaen University

Dr. Boonchai Kijsanayotin, Chair of AeHIN, led the Thailand Health AI Summit, where he moderated two panel discussions. Over 100 local participants from the government sector (e.g. Ministry of Health), public organizations (e.g. Health System Research Institute), academia (e.g. Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital), and private sector (e.g. HIS vendors) attended the Summit.

In a panel discussion on ‘Data and AI in the Thai Healthcare System: Governance and Challenges,’ Dr. Kijsanayotini introduced AeHIN’s “Mind The GAPS, Fill the GAPS” framework. The framework highlights that Governance (G), Architecture (A), People and Program Management (P), and Standards and Interoperability (S) are the four main foundations that each country should invest in to strengthen its national digital health development process. He also presented a digital health landscape analysis on Thailand based on the seven eHealth building blocks of the National eHealth Strategy Toolkit developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 

Dr. Kijsanayotin further shared that several challenges hinder digital health innovations, such as data silos, security, and confidentiality. He also discussed that interoperability challenges are usually disguised as issues on ‘technical and data interoperability’ but, in reality, are actual concerns on ‘institutional interoperability’ and ‘human interoperability.’ 

In conclusion, the Summit served as a good opportunity for different sectors to discuss and understand the importance of digital technology, specifically AI, in improving health outcomes.