The first Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant handheld translation device is designed to make it easier for clinicians and patients to communicate across language barriers.
Described as the first handheld translation device to operate in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Pocketalk is designed as a resource to help patients and clinicians communicate despite language barriers.
Originally launched in 2018 as a tool for travelers, Pocketalk pivoted to health care applications of the technology as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release. This lead to the launch of the new Pocketalk Plus device that is designed to provide instant translation for 82 languages. The device features a large screen that is readable from up to 6 feet away, as well as a speaker and noise-canceling microphone.
Pocketalk Plus provides audio feedback in the native language, and an integrated camera can translate written words. The device includes a built-in data connection, eliminating the need for Wi-Fi, and it is small enough to fit comfortably into a pocket. Additionally, the Pocketalk Plus can be quickly sanitized using a standard alcohol wipe.
"Studies show that patients and families with language barriers receive a fraction of
the communication that English-speaking families receive from their healthcare team, and we are aiming to change that by lightening the burden on human interpreters and allowing for more relationship building opportunities with all patients," Joe Miller, general manager of the Americas and Europe at Pocketalk, says in a press release. "We are thrilled to take a major step forward in fulfilling that goal via our HIPAA-compliant device, and to continue to send the message that all are welcome."