Thailand Strengthens Crypto Regulations and Cyber Resilience – OpenGov Asia

In response to increased government monitoring of the cryptocurrency industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced new guidelines for advertising by cryptocurrency businesses.
The new regulations, according to the SEC, provide for advertising clearly stating investment risks and offering a fair assessment of prospective risk and returns. Regulatory authorities must also be given information on advertising terms. Operators had 30 days to comply with the new regulations and were required to provide the SEC with information about ads and spending, including the employment of influencers and bloggers, along with terms and time frames.
Thai cryptocurrency businesses actively promote their products on social media, and billboards are promoting the sector throughout Bangkok. The regulator has recently levied fines against cryptocurrency businesses as well, many of which have been impacted by the global decline in the value of digital currencies.
Around 8,227 mobile internet users over the age of 18 from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Pakistan participated in the “Digital Lives Decoded” study. The study looked at how mobile devices affect consumer lifestyles and showed how users are empowered by mobile connectivity. The report predicts that due to the heightened interest in digital use that followed the epidemic, cellphone usage in Thailand may rise dramatically in the next years.
Since the start of the pandemic, mobile data usage has more than doubled in most Asian countries, changing how people communicate at work and at home. The agency also stated that despite the loosening of rules governing travel and social interaction, consumers will continue to be fully immersed in the digital world.
Internet users in Thailand have been warned by the authorities to watch out for online scammers who steal their money and online identities. The action is a part of a public awareness campaign against technology crimes that target young internet gamers, according to Royal Thai Police (RTP). Several con artists who took millions of baht from teenage gamers have reportedly recently been apprehended, according to the RTP. But many more still prey on inexperienced players, harming the victims and their families.
The RTP requested parents to frequently monitor their children’s online gaming activities and to promptly notify authorities of any suspicious interaction between their children and others to safeguard personal identification and prevent any financial harm.
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Ministry of Finance have now announced an additional relief package for debtors due to the continued high level of household debt. The action is presented as an online debt relief expo. The COVID-19 issue led to an increase in household debt. As the economic recovery takes shape gradually, the central bank anticipates the level of household debt to decline going forward. Income growth is anticipated because economic activity has almost fully recovered to pre-recession levels.
To provide ongoing, accurate, and prompt assistance for those who are in debt, the debts solution expo will be launched as another debtor assistance programme. Debtors who are having problems paying their creditors will have debt relief negotiations started during the first round. Programmes fostering financial literacy and discipline will be implemented by the finance ministry, the BOT, and the Government Financial Institutions Association in the second phase.
Credit card loans, personal loans, auto loans, and loans from nano financing are among the debts that can be renegotiated. They also consist of all forms of loans made by specialist financial institutions, as well as the debt owed to creditors such as asset management companies.
Over the past decade, the Indian government has launched several initiatives to promote the digitalisation of agriculture, a sector that nearly 70% of the population depends on. In 2012, the Agriculture Ministry set up an organisation as an attached office of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW). It was called the Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC) and set out to enhance satellite remote sensing and GIS technologies in crop estimation.
According to a press release, considering the recent advancements in geospatial technology, DA&FW has recognised the need to scale up the technology solutions in agriculture decision support. In this direction, the first meeting of the technical advisory committee to strengthen and transform MNCFC into a centre of excellence for geospatial technology applications was recently held in New Delhi.
At the event, Manoj Ahuja, the DA&FW Secretary, highlighted the need to scale up the utilisation of satellites, drones, smartphones, and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) techniques. These scientific IT products and services will empower stakeholders across the agriculture sector to make informed decisions. An official also urged the MNCFC to take part in global initiatives on crop surveillance.
After deliberations, major recommendations of the committee included:
The committee also discussed developing a national framework at MNCFC for all scalable technology solutions to standardise the methodologies, enabling them to become more widely used in decision-making processes. The major themes for developing national initiatives are crop surveillance and estimations, disaster risk reduction in agriculture, farmer-centric services (weather, pest/disease surveillance advisory, nutrient management advisory, and agro-forestry decision support), and environment and energy.
An official at the meeting noted that satellite-based assessments be extended to the horticulture sector by pooling the data and expertise currently available in the existing projects and schemes by the Ministry and Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR).
With the support of technology agencies like the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), officials believe that MNCFC will be fully equipped to reap all the possible benefits of digital technologies in a holistic manner in the agriculture sector.
Earlier this year, in a bid to increase crop yield and quality, the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) developed a sensor-based irrigation system for farmers in Goa. The system can be controlled through a mobile application or the web. The sensors can start and stop water motors depending on the moisture value of the soil. This process prevents water erosion and maintains the soil quality throughout the field.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the system is powered by renewable energy resources (solar-powered pumps) to provide clean water to farmers in off-the-grid areas. The technology has saved time, especially for daily wage farmers giving them freedom and flexibility to sell their harvest in the market. Using riverbank filtration (RBF) technology, the system provides clean water for irrigation.
Following the publication of Minister of Health Regulation (PMK) number 24 of 2022 respecting Medical Records, patients’ health data have started to be kept electronically. This regulation mandates the use of an electronic patient medical history recording system in health service facilities (Fasyankes). The transition process lasts until 31 December 2023.
“The Ministry of Health is aware of the development of digital technology in society which has resulted in the transformation of the digitization of health services so that medical records need to be organized electronically with the principles of security and confidentiality of data and information,” says Setiaji, Chief of Digital Transformation Office at Ministry of Health.
The PMK is a regulatory framework that helps with the implementation of health technology transformation, which is the nation’s sixth pillar of Health Transformation. This policy is a renewal of the old rule, PMK number 269 of 2008, which was changed to reflect adjustments in science and technology, service needs, community policies, and laws.
This electronic medical record ought to be bolstered by numerous other guidelines such as telemedicine, biotechnology application, and other technologies that will be based on it.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health aims to change health services by continuously enhancing skills and preserving the integrity of health services to provide better assistance to the community, it is hoped that all health facilities would be able to adapt.
This year, the Digital Maturity Index will be used to map all healthcare organisations. The preparedness of medical facilities will be determined. In addition, the patient has the right to obtain a copy of his medical record and to consent to its release.
With the patient’s permission, referral health facilities may access the contents of a patient’s electronic medical record, while the Ministry of Health shall provide health facilities with an integrated platform for connecting to the SATUSEHAT database.
Regarding human resources, the Ministry of Health will assist health facilities that lack digital human resource capabilities. In future initiatives, the Ministry will add digital human resources to the Puskesmas (government-mandated community health centres) to facilitate the execution of digitisation.
For hospitals, there is no need to add many human resources because the doctors who will input medical records are the doctors who will review them and are helped by nurses. Patients can access this electronic medical record using the PeduliLindung application. In addition to COVID-19, this app can also be utilised to access any health services.
When a hospital or other party requests access to relevant medical data, a new version of PeduliLindungi that incorporates health care information will be made available. In addition, users who do not have a smartphone or the PeduliLindung application can access it directly at healthcare institutions if they do not have either. The confidentiality of patient information is ensured because it exists not only in the system administered by the Ministry of Health but also in health care institutions.
Several hospitals in Indonesia are now participating in a pilot programme and establishing guidelines on how to secure data and then create standardised electronic medical records that can be protected. Additionally, the Pharmacy and Medical Devices Dictionary (KFA) was formally created to standardise data on pharmaceutical items and medical devices for the pharmaceutical business.
KFA is a technological advancement that offers details on pharmaceutical products and medical equipment via a web browser tag known as the KFA Browser. The KFA Browser is now available for use by manufacturers, distributors, and the public to find standardised reference pharmaceuticals and medical equipment that can then be accessed online.
Bilateral agreements were made between Singapore and the Philippines through Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, and Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., President of the Republic of the Philippines.
The collaboration exemplifies the enduring links of friendship between the governments and peoples of both nations, as well as their shared determination to further develop relations between the Philippines and Singapore.
The following bilateral agreements have been signed:
The Department of Migrant Workers of the Philippines and the Ministry of Health of Singapore has also signed the Joint Communiqué on the Recruitment of Filipino Healthcare Workers. The leaders reaffirmed the Philippines and Singapore’s outstanding and long-standing friendship and recalled the warm celebrations and tangible outcomes achieved in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2019.
In addition to trade and investment, counterterrorism, healthcare, and digital collaboration, they praised the expansive and vigorous cooperation between both nations. Despite the difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak, the leaders underlined with delight the increase in bilateral economic cooperation. In 2021, bilateral commerce amounted to USD16.5 billion, a 17.2 per cent rise over the previous year.
The leaders applauded the Philippines and Singapore’s continuous possibilities to collaborate in growth areas, such as the digital economy, agri-trade, infrastructure development, innovation, urban solutions, sustainability, and consumer business.
The two parties are also trying to achieve progress on the expansion of the bilateral Air Transport Agreement, which would boost connectivity and offer additional opportunities for collaboration and growth. Both parties acknowledged the complementarities of their respective economies and anticipated the establishment of even stronger bilateral and international cooperation through leveraging common trade agreements.
In addition, they addressed regional and international developments, education, security and defence, and the restoration of transport links following the improvement of the worldwide COVID-19 situation. Before the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2024, the leaders committed to continue boosting bilateral cooperation.
Meanwhile, with the recent launch of the SingapoReimagine Marketing Programme (SMP) by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), local businesses in the tourism and lifestyle sectors will receive more marketing support as part of efforts to support tourism and strengthen Singapore’s appeal as a destination for business and leisure.
Under the S$8 million initiative, tourist and lifestyle firms will get up to S$500,000 in support for 70% of their eligible expenses. To encourage cross-sector collaboration, candidates who cooperate with tourist stakeholders from diverse sectors would receive an additional 10% in funding, up to a maximum of S$50,000.
Proposals will be judged against three essential criteria by a team of marketing experts comprised of STB and industry representatives. These are campaign idea creativity and relevance, backed up by good use of analytics and data; the effectiveness of the media mix and the inventive use of distribution channels in delivering campaign messaging and connecting emotionally with target audiences; and overall campaign cohesion and it.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) announced the official upgrade of the Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC) and the establishment of the School of Fashion and Textiles (SFT), the third flagship and independent school within PolyU. The opening ceremony was held at the University’s Jockey Club Innovation Tower recently.
The School is an international institution integrating fashion and textile education, and innovative technology research. It will comprehensively enhance the competitive advantage of SFT graduates and Hong Kong’s fashion and textile industry as well as help with the Greater Bay Area’s market development. The School aims to lead the fashion industry and create societal impact while offering solutions that leverage the research and innovative excellence of the School.
Renowned for its world-class teaching and academic achievements, the School’s academics come from around the world, specialising and leading the way in a variety of academic and research areas including wearable and smart textiles, medical textiles and functional clothing, social fashion design, sustainable fashion, digital fashion marketing, and fashion supply chain management.
The opening ceremony consisted of a list of officiating guests including a Member of the Legislative Council of the HKSAR – Textiles, and Garment constituency; the Chairman of the PolyU Council; the President of PolyU; and the Chairlady of the Advisory Committee of SFT.
In the past, SFT has worked closely with the industrial sector both locally and internationally to introduce knowledge transfer and apply innovative and insightful technologies and meet the increasing demand for advanced technology in the fashion and textile industry.
Significant projects include the Nu-Torque™ singles ring-yarn technology, the personalised posture training system for medical, sports and healthcare applications, and intelligent 3D human-modelling technology. These have had ground-breaking and far-reaching influences within the industry. Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as successfully developing new anti-virus 3D printing materials, anti-virus reusable PU30 masks, and protective clothing, SFT has maintained its close ties with the government, NGOs and disadvantaged groups.
SFT has set aside additional resources to foster academic and technological education and research. Its courses keep pace with the times to best meet market requirements for advanced technology, and new subjects including artificial intelligence, digital fashion design, e-commerce and sustainable development are all being added to the School’s programmes.
The revamped undergraduate programme – BA (Hons) Scheme in Fashion, and the taught postgraduate programme – MA in Global Fashion Management, are vivid representations of a prestigious, high-quality, full-spectrum fashion education with the trilogy of design, business and technology to accommodate local, regional and international demand for fashion talent.
The President of PolyU stated that the new School will push the boundaries of education and research excellence even further. SFT’s vision is to be a world-leading centre in fashion and textiles education, interdisciplinary research and collaboration, playing a pivotal role in developing Hong Kong into a world-renowned fashion hub.
The Chairlady of the SFT Advisory Committee noted that the new School of Fashion and Textiles will emphasise education, research and industry partnerships. She added that PolyU has been a leading institution for fashion and textile education and research, both in Asia and globally, since 1957. The transformation of ITC to the School of Fashion and Textiles reflects its continuing position as an educational leader for many years to come.
The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has launched the IFSCA FinTech Incentive Scheme to provide financial support to fintech activities in the form of specific grants. The overall objective is to promote the establishment of a world-class fintech hub at the Gujarat International Finance Tech-city (GIFT IFSCA) in India.
The scheme was notified through the Gazette Notification number IFSCA/2021-22/GN/022 dated 2 February 2022. According to a press release, the initiative will be open to:
The types of incentives for eligible applicants are:
Fintech Start-up Grant: this will be utilised to develop a product or a service and related ‘go-to market’ initiatives for a start-up with a novel fintech idea or solution with a focus on converting the idea into an MVP.
Proof of Concept (PoC) Grant: this will be utilised to conduct a PoC by an early or mature fintech entity (FE) in domestic markets or overseas.
Sandbox Grant: this will be utilised by FEs to experiment with innovative products or services in a sandbox.
Green Fintech Grant: this will be utilised towards developing solutions facilitating sustainable finance and sustainability-linked finance, including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments.
Accelerator Grant: this will be utilised to support accelerators at the IFSC for capacity building, building capabilities around mentors, and bringing investors/projects or PoC, tie-ups, etc.
Listing Support Grant: this will support domestic FEs aspiring to go for listing on stock exchanges recognised by IFSCA.
The grants contemplated under this scheme shall be available to eligible FEs who are part of the IFSCA’s Regulatory or innovative sandbox, or who are referred to the IFSCA under a fintech bridge arrangement with a counterpart regulator. Further, FEs that have either participated or are participating in any accelerator or cohort, or special programme supported or recognised by the IFSCA. Also, FEs who are referred to by the entities, including regulatory or supervisory bodies that have a memorandum of understanding (MoU) or special arrangement with the IFSCA.
In April, the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), an agency under the Department of Posts (DoP), launched an initiative, Fincluvation, to create and innovate solutions for financial inclusion by collaborating with the country’s fintech start-up community.
As OpenGov Asia reported, Fincluvation is an “industry-first” initiative to serve as a powerful platform to mobilise the start-up community to build meaningful products that will broaden the reach of digital finance. With a combination of IPPB’s technology stack, DoP’s doorstep service network, and the techno-functional acumen of start-ups, the products of the initiative can deliver unmatched value to the citizens of the country. Successful pilots from the initiative can then mature into long-term partnerships.
The global fintech market size was $110.57 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow to $698.48 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 20.3% from 2021 to 2030. Fintech increases the speed, transparency, and security of transactions, which is why governments and organisations around the world are looking to support, foster, and fund fintech solutions.
Identifying a cancer patient’s precise type of cancer and primary location is the first step in selecting an effective treatment. However, even with rigorous testing, the origin of cancer cannot be determined in rare instances. Although these tumours of unclear sources tend to be aggressive, oncologists are required to treat them with non-targeted medicines, which typically result in high toxicity and low survival rates.
With this, researchers at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have created a new deep-learning approach that may assist categorise tumours of unknown origin by examining gene expression programmes related to early cell development and differentiation.
Developing a diagnostic tool from a machine learning model that exploits variations between healthy and normal cells and among various types of cancer requires a delicate balancing act.
If a model is very sophisticated and accounts for an excessive number of aspects of cancer gene expression, it may appear to learn the training data flawlessly yet fail when presented with new data. However, by reducing the number of characteristics to simplify the model, the model may fail to capture the types of information that would lead to correct classifications of cancer types.
To achieve a compromise between lowering the number of features and selecting the most pertinent data, the scientists centred the model on cancer cell markers of disrupted developmental pathways. As an embryo develops and undifferentiated cells specialise into diverse organs, a plethora of pathways governs cell division, growth, shape change, and migration.
As the tumour grows, cancer cells lose several specialised characteristics of mature cells. In addition, as they acquire the ability to multiply, change, and metastasise to other tissues, they begin to resemble embryonic cells in some respects. In cancer cells, many of the gene expression pathways that drive embryogenesis are reactivated or dysregulated.
The researchers took the gene expression of tumour samples from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and broke it down into separate parts that each correspond to a certain point in a tumour’s development. They then gave each of these parts a mathematical value; and turned it into a machine learning model tag as Developmental Multilayer Perceptron (D-MLP), which gives a tumour a score based on how it grew and then predicts where it came from.
Meanwhile, when DALL-E came out, it made everyone on the internet feel good. DALL-E is an image generator based on artificial intelligence that was inspired by the artist Salvador Dali and the cute robot WALL-E.
It uses natural language to make any mysterious and beautiful image your heart desires. When people typed in things like “smiling gopher holding an ice cream cone,” they saw them come to life right away.
To make an image, DALL-E 2 uses something called a “diffusion model,” which tries to fit all the text into one description. But when there are a lot more details in the text, it’s hard for one description to cover everything.
Even though they are very adaptable, they sometimes have trouble understanding how certain ideas are put together. To make more complex images that are easier to understand, scientists at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) changed the way the typical model is set up.
The “magical” models that are used to make images work by suggesting a series of steps that can be taken over and over to get to the desired image. It starts with a “bad” picture and then makes it better and better until it is the one that is chosen.
By putting together several models, they can refine the look together at each step, making an image that has all the features of each model. By having several models work together, users can choose from a lot more creative image combinations.
Radiopharmaceuticals are an emerging medical technology that delivers radiation therapy directly to cancer cells while sparing the rest of the body from the harsh effects of cancer treatment. Now, the University of Queensland is paving the way in the innovation and production of new radiation therapy drugs.
The newly created Advanced Manufacture of Targeted Radiopharmaceuticals (AMTAR) hub, established from an AU$5 million Australian Research Council grant and an AU$10 million from partners, will be a one-stop-shop for experts and industry to come together and streamline emerging radiopharmaceutical technologies.
Professor Kris Thurecht from UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and Centre for Advanced Imaging will lead the hub, alongside crucial pharma industry partners and some of the world’s best scientific minds.
In an interview, the professor stated that radiopharmaceuticals are a group of drugs that deliver radiation therapy directly and specifically to cancer cells. More specifically, they are isotopes bound to biological molecules that can target specific organs, tissues or cells. Focusing on very specific areas enables the reduction of the collateral damage – or side effects – that the human body usually experiences during radiation therapy like hair loss, skin changes, diarrhoea and loss of taste.
Professor Thurecht stated that while the history of radiopharmaceuticals dates to the 1920s, they are still considered an emerging branch of medical technology. As scientists and researchers develop a better understanding of the technology, they are being used more frequently, with high accuracy and sensitivity, in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases like cancer. Radiopharmaceuticals will be an integral part of modern healthcare. There are several agents on the market and many more in development. It is expected that their use will increase over the next 10 to 15 years.
With regards to the hub, the professor noted that in July 2022, an AU$5 million Australian Research Council grant was secured, allowing for the Hub for Advanced Manufacture of Targeted Radiopharmaceuticals (AMTAR) to be established at UQ. Essentially, the hub will use the capabilities and infrastructure on hand at UQ and the University of Sydney to gather some of the world’s best scientific minds and major pharma industry players.
While researchers are the hub and will not be expressly treating patients or addressing medical outcomes, they will be developing knowledge and technology platforms within the radiopharmaceutical manufacturing pipeline. The hub’s a one-stop shop that will help enhance Australia’s reputation in the field of radiopharmaceuticals, and importantly, open the region up to lucrative commercial opportunities.
Overall, AMTAR’s vision is to develop new technologies and establish a platform for smart design, manufacture and quality assurance of targeted radiopharmaceuticals. This will be done via collaborative research that improves the cost-effectiveness of production while ensuring there’s a process in place to manufacture new products here in Australia.
Nuclear medicine is increasingly being used in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy. This has carved the way for the growth of the radiopharmaceutical market. Nuclear medicine assists in diagnosing the organs of any kind of pathological condition, especially cancer.
Recent research found that the radiopharmaceuticals market is expected to undergo a CAGR of 10.40% during the forecast period. This indicates that the market value, which was US$4.80 billion in 2021, would grow to US$11.69 billion by 2029.
“Diagnostic Applications” dominate the application segment of the radiopharmaceuticals market as a result of the rising incidences of medical ailments such as diabetes that are responsible for making the lower part of the body symptomatic and vulnerable.
The increasing focus on improving the condition of healthcare facilities and improving the overall healthcare infrastructure is a key driver of this market’s growth. A growing number of partnerships and strategic collaborations between the public and private players pertaining to funding and application of new and improved technology is further creating lucrative market opportunities.
© 2022 OpenGov Asia – CIO Network Pte Ltd.


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