Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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Patients can save crucial time in getting to the hospital

Stroke is one of the top three non-communicable diseases causing Thai deaths every year. Stroke patients who reach the hospital within 270 minutes have a chance of being cured. But in past years, few have been able to reach the hospital within that time frame.

Khon Kaen University’s department of medicine has initiated a “stroke fast track” with the launch of the “Stroke KKU” system to help stroke patients and their relatives to get in touch with hospitals and Emergency Medical Service System (EMS) 1669 centres in an emergency.

Dr Somsak Tiamkao, a lecturer in the department, said Stroke KKU came as both a mobile application and a Web-based service.

The mobile app is designed to be easy to use. It is now available for iOS and Android platforms.

The app provides not only information about every hospital in the country but also which ones provide thromboclasis treatment, and where they are. Thromboclasis is a procedure to dissolve a thrombus, a stationary blood clot that can cause a stroke.

The app also provides information on how people can check themselves for stroke risk.

To get the app for a smartphone, people are required to register with their names, identity numbers, contact numbers, and their relatives’ contact information in case of emergency.

Once they need help, they just open the app and use the alert feature to inform EMS 1669. The Emergency Medical Service will be alerted and then coordinate with the appropriate hospital while sending an ambulance.

Meanwhile, the hospital and EMS centre are provided with a Web-based service linked with the Stroke KKU application. They will be alerted once people ask for help via the app. Then they can immediately send an ambulance to get the patient to the hospital quickly.

This initiative aims to increase the number of stroke patients who can reach a hospital within 270 minutes to get thromboclasis treatment in time.

“Generally, around 50 per cent of stroke patients can be cured by getting treatment in time,” Somsak said.

The Stroke KKU system will be available in Khon Kaen province first for a trial period in order ensure the app functions properly, and then it will be offered throughout the country.

This app is a collaboration of the Khon Kaen University’s Department of Medicine and the National Institute for Emergency Medicine, operator of EMS 1669.

The Stroke KKU application and the Web-based system were developed by Digix Technology, a software company in Khon Kaen province.

Disakul Waidee, founder and chief executive officer of Digix Technology, said the company worked closely with the doctors, and after getting information from EMS 1669 and the hospitals, they spent two months developing the app.

The Stroke KKU Web-based application, at, has one database but two groups of users, the hospitals and the EMS1669. They both will be alerted when patients send an emergency alert.

The app developer

Established five years ago, Digix Technology mainly provides software development for corporates. Most of its customers are in Bangkok.

The company has three main products: MoMag, Bookish and Dropthing. MoMag and Bookish are publishing platforms for magazines and books, respectively, while Dropthing is a tracking system for logistics businesses.

MoMag and Bookisk can be both bookshelf and standalone apps, in PDF and interactive formats. MoMag generates revenue from monthly fees, and Bookish from licence fees. Dropthing generates revenue from transaction fees. Currently, two logistics businesses, KWC Logistic and Niko’s, use the Dropthing service.

Disakul said that this year, the company targeted revenue of more than Bt10 million, up from Bt9 million in 2014.

“We have 14 people in our team, all in Khon Kaen province and nearby areas. Being [outside Bangkok] for a software business does not matter. It is good for us, since we have very low employee turnover,” Disakul said.

“Next year, we will have a new project that is expected to be able to scale up our business.”

Thailand’s first world-class fair for makers and innovators

Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and maker groups in Thailand launched the first Bangkok Mini Maker Faire, a showcase of innovations and inventions that aims to inspire and foster a “maker” culture within Thai society. Bangkok Mini Maker Faire was open to the public free of charge on September 26-27, in front of Hard Rock Café, Siam Square.

Pairoj Kaweeyanun, Chevron Thailand president said, “The Bangkok Mini Maker Faire is part of the five-year ‘Enjoy Science’ program aimed to inspire the general public, including children and parents, to see the four STEM subjects as interesting and relevant in everyday life. Chevron and NSTDA both realize that in an era of digital economy and innovation, the country’s competitiveness relies greatly on the capability of the people to innovate, whether innovations are in the form of inventions, handicrafts, or technology-related entrepreneurship. Innovations should not be restricted within academic or specialist area. We believe that the maker movement is one of the fundamental components that can help leverage Thailand’s competitiveness. It is our goal to support and raise more awareness of the maker culture among Thai people and to inspire them to become a maker.”

Thaweesak Koanantakool, NSTDA president said, “Being a maker is far more than just a hobby. Their inventions can be the foundation of thriving businesses that are uniquely capable of tailoring their products to match the needs of each individual customer in a way that traditional mass production simply cannot compete. Therefore, it is important that we support the maker movement which can spark innovations and drive economic growth in the digital era – an age in which technology and innovation are always in demand. A strong maker culture can make significant and sustainable contributions to the nation’s scientific and technological competitiveness.”

Sharnon Tulabadi, CEO and founder of Gravitech Thai and Home of Maker who represents makers at the event said, “In Thailand, the maker movement continues to expand as seen by the increase in number of maker spaces, workshops and other activities in Bangkok and other provinces. Maker space like Home of Makers functions as a co-working space for makers to exchange knowledge and ideas and further improve their work. However, the maker concept is not yet well known among the public and we are glad that Chevron and NSTDA joined forces to create awareness of the maker culture through Bangkok Mini Maker Faire. At the fair, makers will have the opportunity to showcase their works and exchange knowledge and ideas with other makers while inspiring and sparking creativity for the public, further garnering attention for the maker culture. ”

“In fact, Thai people have always been makers in their own right. Local wisdom is a great example of how local people adapt things around them to use in their daily lives. We believe that if the maker culture becomes widely known and the public are introduced to maker’s technologies such as 3D printers or laser cutters, we will be seeing a lot more innovations by Thai people. This will help effectively and sustainably increase Thailand’s competitiveness in science and technology, which is exactly what Enjoy Science project is all about”, Pairoj added.

Bangkok Mini Maker Faire showcases creations from makers from across the country and offers a variety of workshops which include demonstrations on how to make a 3D printer from leftover materials, a robot contest for dummies or “Hebocon” as well as inspirational talks. Makers from across the country participated in the event namely Maker Zoo, Home of Maker, PINN Creative Space, Fab Café, TRIBES, Ne8T, Maker Asia, iNex, Chiang Mai Maker Club, Phuket Maker club and many more.

Chevron and NSTDA jointly announced the results of 3D printing contest Enjoy Science: Let’s Print the World and showcased the finalists’ works from the contest. Miss Sirilak Sangwarnworawut won the first prize in the student category with her 3D printed ‘artificial coral reef’ and Ms Saowakont Pummalee won the first prize in the general public category with her 3D printed ‘Tossakan’ . Each received a set of 3D printer & Scanner worth 100,000 baht and a round trip ticket to Maker Faire Berlin in October this year to be introduced to innovations created by world-class makers and to inspire them to apply their newfound experiences to the development of 3D printing in Thailand, as well as motivating the next generation of Thai innovators.

iPhone Available in 40 Additional Countries Beginning Friday, October 9

CUPERTINO, California — September 28, 2015 — Apple today announced it has sold more than 13 million new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models, a new record, just three days after launch. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in more than 40 additional countries beginning October 9 including Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Taiwan. The new iPhones will be available in over 130 countries by the end of the year.

“Sales for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Customers’ feedback is incredible and they are loving 3D Touch and Live Photos, and we can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to customers in even more countries on October 9.”

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus bring a powerful new dimension to iPhone’s revolutionary Multi-Touch™ interface with 3D Touch, which senses how deeply you press the display, letting you do essential things more quickly and simply. The new iPhones introduce Live Photos, which bring still images to life, transforming instants frozen in time into unforgettable living memories. Live Photos, 3D Touch, 12-megapixel iSight® camera, 5-megapixel FaceTime® HD camera with Retina® Flash and more are powered by the Apple-designed A9 chip, the most advanced chip ever in a smartphone, delivering faster performance and great battery life. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are designed with the strongest glass on any smartphone and 7000 series aluminum, the same alloy used in the aerospace industry, in gorgeous metallic finishes that now include rose gold.

iOS 9, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, brings more intelligence to iPhone with proactive assistance, powerful search and improved Siri features, all while protecting users’ privacy. Built-in apps become more powerful with a redesigned Notes app and detailed transit information in Maps*. The foundation of iOS is even stronger with software updates that require less space to install and advanced security features to further protect your devices.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will roll out worldwide to more than 40 additional countries and territories beginning October 9 including Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan. On October 10, countries include Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in India, Malaysia and Turkey on Friday, October 16 and in over 130 countries by the end of the year.

Sales completed by Saturday, September 26 will be included in Apple’s 2015 fourth fiscal quarter results, and sales completed on Sunday, September 27 will be included in Apple’s 2016 first fiscal quarter results.

Wongnai expanding business models, upcountry presence to boost revenue

Many Thai start ups hope to grow by going global, but the goal of Wongnai, a restaurant-review start up, is still focused on the local market.

Wongnai this year will invest in new business models and expanding upcountry. It needs to raise US$2 million (Bt70 million) in funding, which it aims to accomplish this year.

Wongnai is aiming for 2015 revenue to be 2.5 times last year’s, and to post a profit by 2017.

Wongnai is the leading restaurant-review app in Thailand with 2 million users, 500,000 reviews of 180,000 restaurants, 300,000 session visits per day and 500,000 monthly active users, but it needs to scale up these figures to meet its growth targets. Thus, it needs to move on from restaurant reviews to dominate other segments, including beauty and travel services.

The new chapter of Wongnai begins next month when it becomes an e-commerce platform or sales channel for its merchants. This is aimed at turning its traffic into transactions, while unlocking the limited current advertising-based business model to revenue sharing from each transaction.

Even though it has enjoyed strong growth in advertising revenue over the past three years, this business model is deemed insufficient for its growth targets, because it has limitations. Hence, its expansion into the transaction revenue-sharing model.

“Advertising revenue will still exist,” said Wongnai’s co-founder and chief executive officer Yod Chinsupakul. “Transaction revenue sharing is an additional revenue stream that is expected to be the main stream.”

A total of 180,000 restaurants at Wongnai could offer e-vouchers to draw the app’s users to try their services. Therefore, instead of offering a review or advertorial of the restaurant, Wongnai’s new feature will allow it to sell e-vouchers.

Next month, 50 restaurants will join “Wongnai Restaurant Week”, a marketing campaign to kick off Wongnai’s new marketplace platform.

The marketplace concept will also be implemented in “Wongnai Beauty”, the company’s application for reviews of beauty services, including salons, spas and clinics.

Under the business plan, Wongnai Beauty will be merged into Wongnai, with the former’s 6,000 merchants, 100,000 users and 10,000 reviews migrated to the main app. The merger of the two apps is expected to help the company be more focused.

In October, Wongnai will kick off a marketing campaign for its marketplace platform for the beauty-review category.

“This year our job is to strengthen our two main review categories, restaurants and beauty services, by increasing the numbers of merchants, reviews, users, visiting sessions and, importantly, transactions,” Yod said.

Another key strategic move is to expand upcountry, with the aim of having a presence in 10 provinces.

“Only two months after we expanded into Chiang Mai and Chon Buri, we saw a return on investment. Having local a presence helps increase our performance both in traffic [to the app and the website] and [review] content. Our next moves this year will be to Phuket and Khon Kaen,” Yod said.

To scale up its business, including adopting the marketplace platform, going upcountry, and setting up a travel-review category, Wongnai needs the next round of fundraising to bring in $2 million before the end of this year. Yod said the money would be invested in operations, teams, marketing and branding.

The company wants to get into travel reviews, as this is a segment with high potential. However, Yod said it needed to strengthen its existing restaurant and beauty segments first. It aims to push the beauty category to generate revenue, both from advertising and transactions, from only 5-10 per cent of the company’s total revenue to around 30-35 per cent this year.

Wongnai, established in mid-2010, saw no revenue until 2012. In 2013, it received seed funding and Series A funding from Recruit Strategic Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of Recruit in Japan. After that, Wongnai began posting at least 100-per-cent annual growth.

Yod expects revenue to jump again after the next round of fundraising along with the strategic business plans to dominate the three largest review markets, restaurant, beauty services, and travel. Thailand is big enough to accomplish its goals, with its Bt300-billion restaurant market, Bt100-billion beauty-service market and Bt500-billion travel market.

“The local market is the best destination for a review app like us. We are different from other start ups,” he said.