HealthCom Talks in Thailand: “New Normal” Opportunities after the Pandemic

By Keattisak Sripimanwat - Chair, IEEE ComSoc Thailand Chapter

In parallel with the 10th anniversary of the Thai Telecommunication Knowledge Management (TTKM) Forum on 25 November 2020, the Thai IEEE ComSoc Chapter organized two online keynote talks to with the year-long situation of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the serious air pollution locally. The presentations focused on communications engineering combining with health monitoring devices and urgent solutions to fight those national health issues. Experiences from the front lines were shared at these talks presented to IEEE members in the morning session of the IEEE Thailand section annual meeting, and also open to the public.

The first topic was “Sensors for healthcare applications with communications”, given by Dr.Supab Choopan, Head of the Physics and Materials Science Department at Chiangmai University. In his 20-minute talk, he shared an impressive story from the sensor laboratory through fabrication and implementation into a basic health monitoring device, and finally to adoption. His project is also involved with the implementation of PM2.5 detection and monitoring, whereas all are equipped with wireless communication functions for easy use. Remarkably, those locally-made equipments have been serving one of the most polluted cities where the Air Quality Index (AQI) has often been ranked on top of the world list.

The next talk was related to how Covid-19 poses a serious risk of infection to medical personnel, which may in turn cause nosocomial spread at healthcare sites. To overcome this fear and reduce that risk, the talk entitled “Electronics: wireless stethoscope” discussed another brilliant piece of equipment. During the uncertain times in early 2020, this device was delivered following a special request from the university hospital to the engineering school. Then Dr. Sarawuth Chaimool, an associat professor from the Department of Electrical Engineering, Khon Kaen University, decided to join. His experiences on that accelerated project (low cost and prompt solution with available local components when related supply chains were on pause), was shared in a 40-minute talk.

Hundreds of people have watched those stories about crisis solutions. All “new normal opportunities after the pandemic” videos are still serving as another contemporary local HealthCom milestone at Although our 10th year of TTKM was celebrated silently online with these talks, winning the fight against pollution and the pandemic is wished for every site nationwide in the future.

Fighting serious air pollution and the Covid-19 pandemic will certainly still be a years-long effort ahead. There are many other engineering solutions waiting to be developed to combat those health risks. Members and students have been invited to join us, as our actions today will weigh on our own conscience tomorrow.