Care in Real-Time: Closing Gaps in Healthcare Access with Digital Tools 

Yitzchak David • August 24, 2022

Healthcare accessibility remains a global challenge from emerging markets to consumer-based economies, such as in the United States. Challenges are seen in many forms such as, availability of resources and social determinants, and specifically language barriers. Often digital health solutions utilize cutting edge technologies to deliver innovative results, but at a high cost to develop and operate. As a result, availability of these solutions tends to be limited to populations centers with high socioeconomic density. However, there are emerging tools, such as TeleVu’s SpeechVU, that are both cutting edge and practical for real-time application.   

As a social determinant, language barriers present an obstacle toward effective communication and often leave gaps in the patient-provider narrative. For emergency medical providers, both in the clinical and field settings, this all-too-common occurrence reduces the effectiveness in quickly triaging patient complaints and increases timing between focused assessments and potentially lifesaving interventions. In conjunction with Microsoft’s Azure Speech SDK, SpeechVU allows for real-time translation via an augmented reality (AR) screen in more than 20 different languages. Real-time assistance, such as this, during emergency medical situations, e.g., a paramedic addressing a patient’s critical needs, not only reduces the need for on-hand or dialed translations services, but also adds valuable time to situations where minutes often count. Additionally, with TeleVu’s real-time HIPAA compliant transcription, providers can glean more vital data from each patient-provider interaction that may be lost during conversation. 

Currently, many healthcare settings utilize a third-party to “scribe” as a method of capturing vital patient data and reducing documentation errors. However, using this method risks interpretation and possible human error by the third-party “scribe.” Additionally, the cost of human capital to fulfill this function may stretch already thin organizational budgets. SpeechVU seeks to improve documentation quality through real-time transcription and with speech-to-text conversion after a patient-provider interaction ends. Furthermore, through its software interface, TeleVu will allow for a simple cut and paste into any EMR system. This practical application buys back valuable time for clinicians, allowing them to focus on more quality during each patient interaction.  

 As widespread adoption has accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, development of practical digital health applications, such as wearable watches or glasses, have become more increasingly needed. TeleVu’s wearable glasses and software platform seeks to exemplify this necessity by address one of the most pervasive social determinants, language barriers. For clinicians, the SpeechVU platform offers a real-time solution toward increasing both quality care and efficiency of clinical time. However, widespread adoption of practical solutions, such as this, is necessary for the most meaningful impact.   

Yitzchak David

Yitzchak David

is a Research Nurse and Health Tech Enthusiast with interests in Biotechnology and Digital Health. Yitzchak got has a Masters in Health Policy and Management from New York Medical College as well as undergraduate degrees in Political Science from Rutgers University and in Nursing from Farleigh Dickinson University.

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