Using mobile technology to overcome language barriers in medicine

Dwayne T S Chang, I. A. Thyer, D. Hayne, D. J. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Australia has a large migrant population with variable fluency in English. Interpreting services help ensure that healthcare services are delivered appropriately to these populations. However, the use of professional interpreters in hospitals is expensive. There are also issues with service availability and convenience. Mobile devices containing software with translating abilities have promising potential to improve communication between patients and hospital staff as an adjunct to professional interpreters. It is highly convenient and inexpensive. There are concerns about the accuracy of the interpretation done with such software and more research needs to be carried out to support or allay these concerns. For now, clinically important and medicolegal related interpretation should be undertaken by professional interpreters whereas less crucial tasks may be performed with the help of interpreting software on mobile devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e23-e25
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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