Health IT is also considered a major opportunity, with New Zealand companies already making a difference in Thai hospitals. During the Prime Minister's visit, the strong relationship between Thai hospitals and New Zealand health information technology companies was on display with much discussion around trends in the industry and areas of potential collaboration.
Managing big data is driving change in healthcare, says Dr Mike McCoy, Chief Medical Information Officer at Bangkok Dusit Medical Services in Thailand.
"Healthcare information management issues like privacy and data integration are 10 years behind the banking sector. Managing data is a global issue," he says.
New Zealand's worldwide reputation for medical records management offers key insights for Thai hospitals, with reliable best practice systems providing a template for the region.
New Zealand companies like Konnect Net, represented by Executive Director Murray Lilley, reflect New Zealand's long history of expertise in the area providing easily manageable medical document management systems which are used by every general practitioner in New Zealand. Solutions like Konnect Net's Suremed provide a standardised online portal to collect medical information required by authorised third parties such as insurers, advisers, corporations and health providers.
As Thai hospitals seek to improve their information flows, New Zealand companies are offering excellent solutions. Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae spoke at the session about the profound transformation of healthcare data. Orion Health a fast-growing New Zealand company, has a health information system development centre based in Thailand with the products targeted at emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, Turkey and the Middle East.
To further capitalise on ASEAN opportunities, Orion Health will invest in a new Thai facility and double the number of staff in Bangkok4.
New Zealand's culture of innovation and entrepreneurship is evident among its thriving start-up scene, where opportunities offered by cloud computing, big data and mobile device ownership are being embraced.
In Thailand, these trends are already apparent. Cloud-based computing is taking off, with particular traction for SMEs and at a consumer level.
Many of these companies are using innovative new business models - VMob's Software as a Service is subscription-based, rather than based on high upfront licensing fees.
"Software as a Service is the ultimate partnership in software, because you each share in the benefit," says VMob CEO Scott Bradley.
Ms Monsinee Nakapanant, Chief Commercial Officer for True Corporation, points out that with 30% growth in mobile internet usage in Thailand, reliable cloud partners are key to ensure security, privacy and integrity of systems.
As Wynyard's Craig Richardson pointed out, New Zealand companies are in a good position to provide solutions in these areas, and to focus on areas in which they have particular expertise, such as organised crime, drug and human trafficking, and financial crime.
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