Ten people arriving in Phuket on a yacht on 6 March became the first people in Thailand to wear ‘smart wristbands’ to track their location and health during their mandatory 14 day quarantine on board.
Created under the Digital Yacht Quarantine project, developed by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa), AIS, and two private companies, the smart wristbands operate on a 900MHz narrow band IoT connection that maintains connectivity up to 10km over the sea.
“We also have a cloud platform to be a main network for the NB-IoT wristband tracking,” explained AIS Chief Enterprise Business Officer Tanapong Ittisakulchai.
“In this project, we have two models, the ‘Activ 10+’ and the ‘Smartwatch Activ 30+,” added Chatchai Tangchittrong, CEO and Co-Founder of PMH Holding Co Ltd. “The two models can both be location trackers and health devices which tourists can wear as wristbands all the time, in order to prevent them from leaving the yachts.
“The wristband has sensors to check tourists’ pulse, blood pressure and body temperature. They also have an option to send SOS signals if tourists urgently need help. All the information from the wristband will be shown on the website dashboard in real time for medical staff,” he explained. “The Smart wristband health monitoring services we use are the same models that are used for the ‘Hotel Bubble Project’ in the Cayman Islands,” Mr Chatchai said.
Explaining his company’s role in the project, Tanapat Thuatraiphop, CEO of Flow Corporation said: “We are partnering with Patri Tour Group Co Ltd, which operates Ao Por Pier. We conduct the registration for the NB-IoT Wristband Tourist Tracking and arrange medical staff for monitoring the tourists’ health information.
“This partnering is a new dimension of ‘new normal’ tourism. We are not only improving tourism, but also helping to boost the marine tourism industry throughout the whole Andaman region,” Mr Tanapat said.
Depa President Assistant Professor Dr Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin commented, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big effect on the Thai economy and the tourism industry, especially in Phuket, which is a destination dependent on foreign tourists. Phuket lost more than 320 billion in [tourism] revenues [due to the pandemic].
“Yacht tourists will receive NB-IoT Wristband Tourist Tracking, which can be a health-monitoring tool during the 14 days of onboard quarantine. It will boost tourists’ confidence and support the public health safety for tourists coming to Phuket, as well as improve the quality of cooperation among tourists, medical staff, and other relevant officers,” he added.
Tanyuta Singhmanee (Jojo), MD of Asia Pacific Superyachts Co Ltd, representing the Thai Yachting Business Association (TYBA) said, “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our association members lost about 50-60 per cent of their revenues, which are mostly from foreign yacht tourists.
“We have boosted local people and tourists’ confidence about the disease control measures since we started the yacht quarantine in October last year. We have not found any yacht tourists infected so far. In 2021, we expect that there will be about 100 yachts, bringing 300-500 tourists, coming to Thailand,” she added.
The original story was posted by Phuket News on 9 March 2021. Full story here.