In hospitals and clinics, language barriers often play a role in limiting the delivery of timely and accurate care. Patients may use limited english to communicate and be unable to tell a provider when they don’t understand. It makes for frustrating social interactions and ultimately unsafe medical decisions
Last month, Canopy Apps launched a Canopy Medical Translator application for iOS which makes translating medical terms more instant and even connects you to real-time translators directly through the application.
In the first 3 weeks alone, the application had spread to over 1,100 hospitals.
The app is a breakthrough in translation applications as it focuses directly on the unique vocabulary in medicine. The hope is that through access to multiple languages less patients and their families will experience a language barrier that distracts from quality care.
By using the app alone, clinicians can create a ‘playlist’ of favorite terms to use and play out specific phrases translated to patients. You can even choose which specialty to get a set of specific phrases for emergency situations vs obstetric/gynecology concerns etc. This is handy — however skips over the 2 way interaction necessary to communicate. We can use it to communicate commands and ask questions to our patients but are unable to translate what they say back. There is, however, a direct button to call an interpreter for a specific language through your institution once that number is known.