Saensuk pilots smart city living with first healthcare Internet of Things project in collaboration with Dell and Intel
Launched in 2014, the Saensuk Smart City initiative is a three-year pilot by the municipality to provide smart facilities for both residents and tourists. With a population of about 46,000 registered local residents, 15 percent of which are ageing citizens, the local government recognizes the need to provide more efficient care for the elderly, most of whom are living at home alone during the day with minimal supervision or in nursing facilities. The pilot project, which began in January 2016 and targets over 140 households with elderly members, aims to monitor the patients and provide insights to help the government optimize nursing resources and operate healthcare services more efficiently. This is achieved with IoT applications in health monitoring, emergency notification, environment sensing, home monitoring, and tracking for safety.
“Saensuk Smart City will rely on advanced technologies to make residents’ lives better and improve the tourist experience for visitors to the city. We chose to work with Dell and Intel on our proofs-of-concept at this crucial initial stage as both have established smart city credentials, having created highly reliable, large-scale Internet of Things projects in other cities across Asia Pacific. We’re pleased with the implementation of the project in this first phase and are confident that the subsequent stages of the project will deliver valuable results for our city,” said Narongchai Khunpluem, mayor of the Saensuk Municipality.
Apinetr Unakul, advisor to the board of ICIC—a state-led initiative tasked with harnessing public-private sector support for smart city development—said, “Such multi-partner collaborations are not only strategic, but also important and beneficial, as Thailand forges ahead with its Digital Thailand vision. For Saensuk Smart City, technical support from Dell and Intel has allowed the successful implementation of platform blueprints for the smart city, which will ultimately pave the way for more advanced IoT adoption across different aspects of life for residents and tourists. This is an important step forward in achieving Thailand’s goal of becoming a smart nation.” The ICIC also enlisted other leading organisations for the implementation of this project, including the Thai Embedded Systems Association (TESA), Burapha University, BAESLab and CAT Telecom.
Smart healthcare for the elderly
Municipal nurses in Saensuk traditionally visit elderly residents regularly as part of on-going patient engagements. However, the nurses could not respond swiftly or appropriately during emergencies as they could not tell when an incident had occurred, or what type of medical attention was needed. The pilot project now allows nurses to remotely monitor the health of elderly patients through the Cloud, data analytics and Bluetooth connectivity.
Based on Intel IoT platform offering end-to-end secured connection from devices to gateway and datacentre, the solution will allow safer and easier deployment with better manageability. During the pilot phase, elderly patients wear a small Bluetooth-enabled smart device either as a bracelet or a necklace. The smart device monitors number of steps, movements, walking distance and sleeping patterns, and can alert the healthcare practitioners when unusual activity is detected such as an abrupt fall, or the panic button is activated.
Intelligent Intel-based gateway systems from Dell aggregate and analyze the large amounts of health data generated daily by the smart devices. The Dell IoT Gateway is used in patients’ homes, while the industrial-grade Dell Edge Gateway 5000 Series is installed in the nursing homes. This enables relevant, accurate insights to be sent to the Dell-powered private cloud to the municipal nursing headquarters, where city-wide updates are displayed in real-time, and subsequently archived on a Dell PowerEdge VRTX converged system.
“Access to patients’ medical history and real-time data has allowed local medical practitioners to identify specific emergencies and discern the type of medical response needed for urgent cases. This has helped the local nursing services to resolve the challenge of limited human resource while still being able to meet the demands for the right support more swiftly and efficiently when an emergency occurs,” said Erwin Meyer, general manager, Asia-Pacific South, OEM Solutions, Dell.
Synergy from the pilot project
Upon the completion of the pilot phase, the solution can also be deployed for other smart city applications, such as streamlining public safety and maintenance activities, ultimately making Saensuk even more attractive as a tourist destination. Cost savings from the healthcare IoT pilot will be directed into other Saensuk Smart City programs, such as a mobile app-based tourist information system that will easily and quickly alert visitors to events, services and other information of interest.
“This pilot project is proof that new technologies can be seamlessly integrated into residents’ lives to benefit both the city and community. The final solution architecture for this project will be the ideal blueprint for other smart city programs not only in Saensuk, but for other smart cities in Thailand, and around the world,” said Mr. Khunpluem.
“These initial steps towards more efficient healthcare in Saensuk Smart City reflect a forward-thinking strategy by the local government of Saensuk Municipality. The project provides robust use cases of the new, game-changing benefits that result from combining technologies such as cloud, big data analytics and the Internet of Things in mainstream implementations. We are delighted to contribute our expertise not only from working on other smart city projects around the world, but also from our extensive work with healthcare institutions,” said Thaneth Angkasirisan, country manager, Dell Corporation (Thailand).
Sontiya Nujeenseng, country manager of Intel Microelectronics (Thailand), said, “Intel is honored to be given the opportunity to work with the municipality of Saensuk, ICIC and Dell in helping Saensuk realize the first smart healthcare project in Thailand, marking the beginning of the smart city transformation. This collaboration created a new model offering an end-to end solution that can be optimized and customized for different cities’ needs. Saensuk pilot project will set a good example for other cities in Thailand, and we look forward to more successful implementation of IoT technology to strengthen the vision of Digital Thailand.”
About IoT City Innovation Center
The IoT City Innovation Center (ICIC) was formed by the National Innovation Agency (NIA) of the Ministry of Science and Technology, in cooperation with CAT Telecommunications Co., Ltd (CAT) and the Thai Embedded Systems Association (TESA). The center aims to develop innovative ecosystem-based Internet of Things (IOT) by promoting and driving the business innovation of entrepreneurs in the field of information and communications technology. It also aims to develop products and solutions for intelligent city management that conform to international standards.