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Philips senses opportunity in digital

Posted by pakin On February - 26 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Philips Thailand Co, a healthcare business arm of Royal Philips, the Dutch electronics company, plans to focus on digital healthcare this year to capitalise on the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.

Viroj Vithayaveroj, the company’s chairman, managing director and general manager of health systems, said Thailand’s 4.0 scheme persuaded the company to focus on selling more digital products this year. Connected healthcare is the forefront of Philips’s strategy for growing the business, he said.

Examples of connected healthcare include electronic toothbrushes such as Philips Sonicare, which can monitor a user’s oral health through a mobile app, and the Philips Air Purifier that captures 99.97% of particles and automatically purifies and visualises indoor air quality via numerical feedback, with the option to check the device’s status remotely on a smartphone.

These innovations reflect key global trends and the response to these products in Thailand has been better than expected, Mr Viroj said.

“People want to live longer and they are recognising the importance of taking a more active role in their own health,” he said. “With advances in personal technologies — like wearables and smartphones — they have the ability to do so. Prevention is more important than treatment.”

Mr Viroj said the company will also tap the hospitality industry to expand the health systems business beyond healthcare services, introducing the automated external defibrillator for international hotel brands.

Moreover, Philips plans to offer hospital design solutions in Thailand to differentiate itself from other healthcare companies. The company expects sales to better the industry’s this year but gave no further details.

Mr Viroj said Thailand’s healthcare industry has posted continuous growth of at least 10% over the last four years. The market value is now estimated at 30-40 billion baht.

“The healthcare business is not sensitive to any economic slowdown,” Mr Viroj said. “We believe the growing momentum of the healthcare business will continue this year because patient numbers should rise as a result of Thailand becoming an ageing society and the health-conscious trend.”

In addition, Asean economic integration has increased opportunities for Thai hospitals to welcome more patients with purchasing power from neighbouring countries, he said.

Philips founded its Thai operation in 1952. It makes healthcare, lifestyle and lighting products. The company started manufacturing in Thailand in 1960 with an incandescent lamp factory.


Former deputy national police chief Pol Gen Salang Bunnag died on Sunday after falling from the 7th floor of a shopping centre in Nonthaburi. He was 81.

His son, Pol Lt Col Hemmachak Bunnag, said Sunday that his father had suffered from depression for several years, a condition which may have contributed to his death.

Police have not officially concluded whether he had committed suicide or suffered a fatal accident. But a video clip released online showed him intentionally letting himself fall, and he left behind a lengthy note to family and the public.

The clip shows a man walking alone inside a shopping mall. He approaches a glass barrier and climbs over it before falling.

Pak Kret police were informed of a man plunging from the seventh floor at a shopping centre on Chaengwattana Road about 11am.

The man was later confirmed as Pol Gen Salang.

Pol Capt Thanawat Cheewitsophon, an officer at Pak Kret police station, said that police found several handwritten notes signed by Pol Gen Salang near the body.

The letter said he had less than two years to live and he wanted to offer society some benefit when he died.

He urged the public to oppose plans to build a double-track railway line with a track width of only one metre and elevated trains, but requested the public to push the construction of “autobahn” express highways.

Police deputy spokesman Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen said national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda offered deep condolences to Pol Gen Salang’s family.

“He did many good things for the Royal Thai Police and his death is a great loss.”

That is not a universal view.

Pol Gen Salang had a history of dramatic and controversial actions. The self-styled “tough cop” was involved in bloody incidents that brought strong criticism.

  • In 1996, after police arrested “most wanted” narcotics kingpin Joe Danchang and five other drug suspects in Suphan Buri, Salang showed up at the scene.

He took all six suspects behind a house, out of the view of a large press group, and shots were fired. Gen Salang then emerged to announce that the six men had broken free from their handcuffs and tried to grab hidden guns, with the result that all the suspects were killed and all the police were unharmed.

The Suphan Buri district court accepted Salang’s claim and ruled on Oct 8, 1999, that Joe Danchang and the other suspects grabbed concealed weapons to fight with the police before being killed by the police in the ensuing gun battle.

The father of the Joe Danchang said he accepted the court ruling, which marked the end of the extra-judicial killing case.

  • Arguably his most-remembered moment of Salang’s career came on Oct 6, 1976. As a police lieutenant-colonel, he led the anti-riot police to attack and kill students at Thammasat University, along with paramilitary forces and so-called Village Scouts. The bloody government attack on Thais ended the three-year democratic revolution of Oct 14, 1973.
  • A strong supporter of Thaksin Shinawatra from the start of the mobile phone tycoon’s political rise in the late 1990s, Salang remained a red shirt supporter until the end. He was interrogated, but never charged, after red shirt violence at Songkran, 2010, in Bangkok, and was called in during other investigations into the financing of the red shirts.
  • In October, 2008, Salang claimed he would mount an independent effort to confront anti-government yellow shirt supporters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), and “retake Government House” as they protested against then-prime minister Somchai Wongsawat.

Salang’s alleged plan was to rally a group of other ex-policemen under his command, in order to besiege Government House and cut all food and water supplies to the protesters. Although Salang received much front-page publicity, his plan never got beyond the self-promotion and tough talk.

  • More bizarrely, Salang was a central figure in the promotion of a quack “cure” for HIV in 2000-2002. Sold or given as a marketing ploy to Aids and HIV victims, the V-1 Immunitor “medicine” was revealed by health authorities as ineffective, and the medicine was banned for promotion and sale.


Bang Na hardest hit with 138mm rainfall

Posted by pakin On January - 31 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

The Bang Na district was the hardest hit by freak rainfall early on Wednesday, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s drainage and sewerage department reported.

At 10.30am, the department said Bang Na district had accumulated rainfall of 138 millimetres from rains that started at about 5am.

The department said variable rainfall happened in Yannawa, Klong Toei, Vadhana, Phayathai, Ratchathevi, Huay Kwang, Din Daeng, Wang Thong Lang, Bang Kapi, Saphan Sung, Suan Luang, Phra Khanon, Prawet and Bang Na districts.

The Meteorological Department has predicted heavy rainfalls this week as a harbinger of another sharp drop in temperature. Forecasters attribute this to a high pressure mass that has moved down from China into Vietnam and Thailand.


POLICE ARE ATTEMPTING to determine whether anyone financed recent protests by anti-junta activists, a deputy national police chief said yesterday.

Amid the crackdown on protesters, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday continued to insist he was willing to listen to everyone’s voice.

The prime minister said in a weekly press briefing that he understood that protesters had their own reasons to rally publicly, but he warned them against violating the law.

Prayut also said he listened to all groups of people. Regarding the delay in the next election that protesters opposed, he said it would certainly bring advantages and disadvantages to different groups of people but he did not think the government would benefit.

Pol General Sriwara Ransibhramanakul, the deputy police commissioner-general in charge of security affairs, said investigators would summon seven activists who had been accused of violating the junta ban on political gatherings and instigating disturbances.

He said the ongoing police investigation could lead to more suspects being called in, but he declined to disclose a number.

His comments came after Colonel Burin Thongprapai, an official with the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), filed a complaint at Pathum Wan Police Station against seven activists who organised a rally last Saturday on the skywalk above the Pathum Wan intersection.

The demonstration, which included more than 100 participants, called for a general election by November, as had been promised by Prayut. The seven activists are Rangsiman Rome, Sirawit Sereethiwat, Nattha Mahatthana, Anon Nampha, Ekachai Hongkangwan, Sukrit Piansuwan and Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, most of whom are members of the Democracy Restoration Group.

Sirawit yesterday asked “people power” to rise up against the “NCPO dictators”.

He said in his Facebook message that, “On February 10 I will never back off,” referring to the date of a planned rally by anti-junta activists at the Democracy Monument.

However, Netiwit said in a Facebook message yesterday that he had joined Saturday’s rally as a citizen, and not as an affiliate of any group. “I feel honoured to be one of the seven accused,” he added.

Sriwara said yesterday that police were investigating to determine who was behind this “regular” group of protesters, but he declined to provide further details.

“Wait until arrest warrants are approved by the court, and you will know. The supporters are no mystery. They are behind the gatherings in five to six areas,” he said.

As the activists were being charged with political assembly, Prayut yesterday said the government was not guilty of discrimination. For example, he said, he had also been criticised by the media and yet had not prohibited their coverage.

“Don’t create misunderstandings. It is reported to the international community and now they view that the government as discriminatory,” Prayut said to Government House reporters.

He said activists should consider whether their rallies affected peace in society, adding that actions should be in line with the law.

“The Administrative Court has already granted an injunction [to the We Walk marchers]. Now try not to violate the law,” he said, apparently referring to activists marching to Khon Kaen to address public policy issues.

Prayut also advised people to look at the motives of the activists, while adding that he did not want to be in conflict with anyone.

He also admitted that the government’s popularity was in decline, saying it was common for every government in its fourth year of ruling. But the government would try to work hard and serve the people, he said.

Meanwhile, Sriwara yesterday met Pathum Wan district chief Nawaporn Klinbuakaew, who maintained that the rally site at Pathum Wan intersection was a public area. Police said protests were prohibited in the area under the Public Rally Act because it is located less than 150 metres from royal premises.

The case’s chief investigator, Pol Lt-Colonel Samak Panyawong, yesterday said the seven accused had been summoned to meet with police on Friday to be formally notified of charges against them. If they fail to meet with the investigators after being summoned twice, arrest warrants would be issued against them, he added.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday said authorities would rely on relevant laws and junta orders in dealing with protesters. He also noted that the junta was still in power and its ban against political gatherings of more than four people remained in effect.

“I have measures to take care of them. According to the intelligence, there is only one group [of anti-junta protesters]”, Prawit said.

Meanwhile, the National Security Council (NSC) was looking into reported moves by “hardline” groups and “foreign instigators” in support of the activists, NSC secretary-general General Wanlop Raksanoh said yesterday.

“We are trying to verify the reports,” he said, adding that there should be no problem as long as their acts were not against the law.