AwezaMed has launched a voice-enabled lingual communication medical translation application that will support all 11 official languages in South Africa that will help medical staff communicate with patients easily in their own language.
AwezaMed announced the wrap of a three-year medical pilot with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
In an official press release, the Founder of AwezaMed Glenn Stein, explained the need for a voice-enabled medical communication application, and the support received for the app encourages unity in South Africa.
He said: “AwezaMed exists to improve communication in South Africa, thereby bringing us closer together. Language is a tool to build our nation, and with the right institutional support to further the research and development of this technology, there is great potential to bring South Africans together in ways previously thought impossible.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the app was strategically redesigned and deployed to transform and grasp COVID-19 related content and speech-to-speech themes.
The necessary adaptation of the app makes sure that user’s needs are met in the course of the global pandemic.
AwezaMed supports health-care practitioners effectively in communicating with patients. The app targets reduction of language barriers that can cause misunderstandings and wrong diagnosis.
How it works
The app takes up phrases that have been collected over four-months of consultations with text-to-speech synthesis and healthcare professionals.
It identifies speech in different languages and converts them to text in real-time. The text is then utilized to translate the source language into the targeted language.
AwezaMed’s innovative app has a database made up of over 1800 reassurances, questions explanations, key vocabularies and patient responses, with a team of medical professionals administrating the database.
The abilities of the app led to AwezaMed supporting COVID-19 related content in the 11 South African official languages.
Successful medical pilot
In the third year of operating in the medical pilot, AwezaMed app had only three language pairs which include; English-isiZulu, English-Afrikaans, and English-isiXhosa.
The app has been successfully piloted and found useful at five public hospitals and community health centers across South Africa in the last two years.
Under 100 Health Care Practitioners (HCP’s) including doctors and nurses signed up for the pilot and AwezaMed requested feedback while the app was put to use in real-world scenarios.
This has no doubt contributed to the success of the three-year medical pilot.
A South African health care practitioner explained that the AwezaMed app has helped in building relationships with patients, he said:
“Being able to greet a patient in their own language builds rapport with them. The difference between being able to do nothing for a patient and being able to provide a service, albeit small, meant that the app already had an impact in the lives of those we helped.”
AwezaMed has put into effect a form of grammar-based machine translation to address limitations the first version of the app was faced with.
The grammar-based machine now ensures there is a dependable and accurate method for translation.
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to techbuild.africa weekly digest for updates.