Medicine is universal. The human body suffers the same diseases all over the globe, and a doctor can treat a set of symptoms regardless of language. However, it’s still necessary to communicate with the patient to understand those symptoms. So what do they do when a patient arrives who speaks a different language? Or if the patient is deaf, and communicates using sign language? How can the doctor understand them well enough to help them?
Federal law requires interpreters be available in all healthcare facilities to provide language services when necessary. However, an ordinary interpreter won’t do for such matters. They need a qualified medical interpreter. And there might not always be an interpreter on hand who not only understands medical matters, but also the specific language they’re being called to translate. Fortunately, there’s AV technology that allows live video remote language interpretation from anywhere in the world.
Remote Language Interpretation
Medical interpreters are an important and often rare commodity. They need a variety of certifications to practice and must meet other healthcare regulations. Finding someone who meets all of these qualifications and speaks the languages that you need is a difficult task. Finding them in the area where they’re needed may be challenging and it may also be impossible in emergency situations.
However, through videoconferencing, certified medical interpreters can be located anywhere in the world and brought in remotely to provide their services as if they were in the room. Many organizations have a variety of medical interpreters on call 24/7, ready to teleconference when needed. With the right equipment, they can provide their services through a laptop, tablet, or even a smartphone.
Medical Interpretation Applications
Mobile device applications can simplify the process of connecting with a medical interpreter who speaks a particular language. The doctor can simply select the language they need from a dropdown list and be instantly connected with a medical interpreter who speaks that language, on call from the interpreter provider. The camera allows the interpreter to connect visually with the patient and facilitate the translation process much better than a simple voice call would. And it’s particularly important for sign language calls, wherein it’s essential that the interpreter be face to face with the person that they’re interpreting for.
Remote medical interpreters don’t only need to be used for patients. Doctors from around the world are often called in to consult, or to perform complex procedures in which they specialize. Likewise, doctors from the United States often travel to impoverished nations to provide much needed medical treatment. The procedures themselves are universal, but they still need to be able to communicate with the other doctors and healthcare professionals in the area, about complex medical issues. Remote language interpretation services can facilitate consultation with the best doctors in the world, no matter what language they speak.
Videoconferencing tools break down physical barriers by allowing people to talk face to face, even on opposite sides of the globe. But now, those same tools can also break down language barriers, helping those people to understand one another, no matter what language they speak. And in the medical community, the breaking down of those barriers can save lives.
About Joel Harris
Joel Harris brings invaluable insight to the Avidex team in his role as CEO, with years of experience leading national technology, healthcare and business organizations. You can reach Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org