Saowaruj Rattanakhamfu, Ph.D.
Vice President and Research Director
Innovation Policy for Sustainable Development, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), Thailand
Saowaruj Rattanakhamfu is the Vice President and Research Director for Innovation Policy for Sustainable Development at Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Melbourne, Australia, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Washington, USA, and a B.A. in Political Science (International Relations) from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Her research focuses on various issues, including Innovation Policy, Higher Education Policy, and ASEAN Trade and Investment Policy. Some of her research topics include Government Procurement for Innovation in Thailand, and Mechanisms and Resource Allocation of Thailand’s Science, Research, and Innovation System. Aside from her research work, she actively participates in committees and projects related to economic development and policy in Thailand.
Topic: Empowering Health Equity: Expanding Access to Medical Devices and Digital Platforms for Reducing Health Inequality
Thailand continues to grapple with the persistent issue of health inequality, particularly among individuals with disabilities, the underprivileged, and those residing in remote areas. While numerous agencies are striving to enhance access to medical devices and expand the utilization of digital health platforms to address these challenges, several key implementation hurdles must be overcome. These hurdles include establishing effective government financing mechanisms that connect producers, payers, and consumers, improving regulations and the procurement system, fostering technological development and innovation, ensuring quality education in biomedical engineering, and adequately training and producing medical personnel to meet the growing demands.
This study aims to present an in-depth analysis of the current state of access mechanisms for medical devices and digital platforms in Thailand, with the goal of reducing health inequality. It examines the key stakeholders involved, identifies limitations and challenges, highlights success factors, and assesses the impact of these access mechanisms on reducing disparities. Additionally, the study offers policy recommendations for scaling up efforts and showcases successful case studies that have effectively increased access to medical devices and digital platforms, thereby reducing health inequality in Thailand.