Building a Medical Information Highway to aid Economic Cooperation in the Greater Mekong Sub-region

Time:2010/3/23 0:00:00   Source:SUNPA Group

   By the Yunnan SUNPA Image Transmission Sci-Tech Co., Ltd    

   From the “Forum on Business Participation for Cooperation in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS)”  

   The GMS comprises six countries; namely China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, with a total area of 2.3 million square kilometers, and a population over 250 million. It is an important gateway for China, connecting Southeastern Asia and South Asia. For a long time most countries in this region had a low level of economic development. The gap between them and the developed countries is vast, especially in areas such as information, medical treatment and education, with consequences such as insufficient information infrastructure, non-uniform IT standards and inhomogeneous distributions of medical and education resources. These six countries attach great importance to regional economic cooperation to accelerate their domestic development. In 2004, the Chinese Government proposed strengthening the sub-regional cooperation on health-care by building a common epidemic disease monitoring and prevention system among GSM countries. This was decided at the 12th Ministerial Conference on Sub-regional Economic Cooperation in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. The proposal created a golden opportunity for all the GMS countries to increase cooperation in health-care and information exchanges.

   Nowadays economic globalization is increasing, both in scope and depth, along with the development of regional cooperation and private enterprises are playing more and more important roles. As a private hi-tech corporation, we specialize in developing and producing video telemedicine products and accessories, on-line education equipment and PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems). We believe that telemedicine technology will create unlimited business opportunities in building the medical information highway. Meanwhile cooperation in health-care and information exchange is strengthening, and all this is in line with the current trend of sub-regional integration.  

   As a result of constant R&D and industrialization, we are the leading producer of telemedicine and PACS products at home and abroad in terms of volume and technology. The company has developed more than 50 products with their own intellectual property rights. Some products are better than America-made equivalents in terms of technology. Also our products are very competitive in price, both in international and domestic markets, because they enjoy the advantages of self-owned intellectual property rights and high-level human resources. SUNPA has set up the biggest video telemedicine network platform in China with centers in Beijing, Shanghai and Kunming, which have covered most parts of Yunnan Province. Networked by broad band,[] medical specialists can treat patients in remote areas, thousands of kilometers away, which will help increase the health care level in rural areas and solve the problem of under-used equipment. This network, which will cover a total of 129 counties throughout the whole province, is under construction. In the “company + hospital” model, which originated with SUNPA, the company has achieved excellent profits and social benefits and its achievements have been widely noted by international counterparts. Many large companies from America, India, South Africa and Thailand have offered to cooperate with SUNPA. Our high price-performance ratio has been responsible for success in entering the South African and Indian markets and this has had a marked effect on our American and European rivals.

   The Sub-region is in an identical situation to Yunnan Province. Both feature an uneven distribution of scarce medical resources, under usage of medical equipment, low-level treatment technology, complex terrains and an urgent demand for quality medical service. Telemedicine technology will provide a viable solution to build this medical information highway.  It will allow sharing and extension of applications of medical resources and expertise, strengthening cooperation in medical areas, and construction of a disease prevention system. It will be the basis for construction of local health care systems and will aid modernization of these health care systems by means of modern information technology.

   Based on the successful experience of SUNPA’s projects in China, and our advanced products and technology, we believe our telemedicine service platform will play an important role in regional cooperation in the medical area. The platform can intensify and accelerate the exchange of information, aid the building of a collective system to monitor and prevent epidemics, such as AIDS, allow sharing of medical expertise, provide an on-line “medical shop”, build a demographic data bank and act as a model platform for telemedicine.

   Since some delegations from Thailand, Laos have visited SUNPA many times and were impressed by SUNPA products and technology, they showed a strong desire to introduce SUNPA’s technology into their own countries. Depending on the support at all levels of government departments and organizations, SUNPA wishes to build up a demonstration telemedicine network, firstly based in Thailand and Laos. Gradually our business will be extended to include other countries to build the complete medical information.

   highway and so allow information sharing among these countries.

In conclusion, I offer 6 suggestions for your attention:
   1.Build a standardized demonstration telemedicine platform within the region as soon as possible. We can initially choose 3 hospitals from each country for connection to the SUNPA Telemedicine Center, so forming the pilot project. Then gradually extend the network to include the whole country to promote cooperation among the GMS nations.  

   2.Solve the problem of inhomogeneous information distribution by using the network to promote sharing of information. We can set up a technology demonstration area in the free trade zone to promote the development of IT industry in these countries. This will take advantage of China’s expertise and manufacturing capability. The other 5 countries’ location and language can also participate in these benefits, which will encourage the free flow of talented labor and promote their own development and ability to win contracts.

   3.Provide better education to remote and poor areas, through the network platform, and increase communication and interaction. The network will also effectively reduce distances between people and increase interdependence and achieve common development.

   4.Uniform IT Communication Standards will help the sharing of information, narrow the gap between developed countries and ourselves and promote cooperation in technology and education.

   5.To reach agreement on free trade, trade settlements and currency exchange it is necessary to adjust our domestic laws and regulations. Governments need to guide and assist enterprises to participate in regional trade and investment mechanisms and to improve their trade facilitation policies and practices.

   6.Increase cooperation in hi-tech areas, while improving cooperation in agriculture, communication, energy and the environment. The countries need to seek common development goals by providing better education for their people.  

   I hope the above suggestions will help to advance the construction of the passageway linking China and the rest of GMS countries, development of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and the further opening-up of Southwestern China.

Tag:Yunnan SUNPA,Telemedicine,Telemedicine equipment,Telemedicine education,information exchanges