Antwerp, 29 April 2022 – Interpretation service provider Global Talk is launching a multilingual communication app for the Flemish healthcare sector this week. The app enables care providers to ask patients initial medical questions in twelve languages. These are basic questions which are further explored as necessary. The app uses pictograms, text and audio to enable the patient and care provider to communicate efficiently, avoiding the loss of valuable time and allowing the care provider to quickly administer the right care. Existing resources in Flanders have proven insufficient. The Flemish Tolkentelefoon [telephone interpreter service] is available from Monday to Friday, from 09:00 to 18:00. If you need an interpreter at any other time, you are limited to communicating through pantomime and gesticulation. The Global Talk care app puts an end to that.
The Global Talk care app also enables the patient to understand the medical treatment they are receiving, which increases patient satisfaction. The app works with a subscription model. In addition to the app, users also have access to Global Talk’s telephone interpreter service, which puts them in contact with an interpreter within one minute.
An end to communication through pantomime and gesticulation
Care providers are often limited to communicating with patients through pantomime and gesticulation. “When it comes to medical procedures, every patient should know what is happening to them. However, there are still patients who leave the hospital without knowing what treatment they received for five days,” says Joeri De Munck, responsible for patient counselling and cultural brokerage at Ziekenhuis Netwerk Antwerpen (ZNA).
ZNA, together with Global Talk, took the lead in developing the healthcare communication app. Last week, it was the first in the Benelux to introduce the app in its healthcare institutions. Nurses at ZNA who tested the translation app considered it an extremely beneficial asset in providing care.
350 questions and instructions
Stefan Verbist, Manager of Global Talk Belgium: “The app was developed in close cooperation with doctors and nurses at ZNA. It was a long and intensive process, but with their help, Global Talk has narrowed down the essential questions. The cooperation with medical experts from this large healthcare institution is what makes our translation app so invaluable.”
The app contains 350 questions translated by interpreters and native speakers who are well-versed in medical jargon. It starts with simple questions and gradually explores the questions further in steps. The app communicates through text, spoken audio and pictograms that provide visual support for many of the questions. Together with the audio, these handy extras facilitate communication with people with low literacy skills. If the response is still too limited, the app also offers direct access to Global Talk’s telephone interpreter service. Care providers can also use the app to convey information that does not require an answer, such as “we are going to take your temperature”, “we are going to insert an IV line”, or “we are going to replace your bandage”. They can also use the app to issue instructions, such as “could you please sit up?” or “please press here” when taking blood samples. That increases the quality of care and, in turn, patient satisfaction.
The app offers the following twelve languages: Berber, Modern Standard Arabic, Turkish, Russian, Farsi, Spanish, Bulgarian, French, Dutch, Polish, Romanian and Ukrainian.
Winner of the Inspire Health & Care Innovation Award
The Global Talk Care app has been declared the winner of the Inspire Health & Care award in the innovation category by the audience jury at the Health & Care event in Ghent.
Stefan Verbist: We are proud and honored that the app is so well received. The audience award shows that Flanders received the app as a powerful communication tool between care providers and patients who are speaking in a foreign language. The app enables everybody to understand and be understood in their own language.