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Mid and South Essex ICS deploys translation app


Mark Say Managing Editor

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CardMedic app on smartphone
Image source: CardMedic

Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System (ICS) has made the CardMedic translation app available to all its care providers.

It is reported to be the first ICS in the country to widely deploy the app in an effort to tackle health inequalities among people with impairments or literacy problems.

The CardMedic app supports instant translation during consultations and treatment, using a mobile device or tablet.

It uses a digital platform that hosts a growing A-Z library of nearly 800 pre-written scripts, replicating conversations between healthcare staff and patients on topics ranging from obstetrics and maternity to end-of-life care and emergency situations.

The company said the content can be flexed at the point-of-care to different languages, sign language videos, easy read with pictures, or read-aloud. An integrated translation tool supports conversations beyond the content of the scripts.

The Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust began the roll out at its hospitals during the summer and the ICS plans to deploy it in its primary care and community based health settings. It has stated that more than 35% of people have additional communication needs, which can be due to language, visual or hearing impairment, cognitive impairment, literacy or other reasons.

Overcoming a barrier

The trust’s head of patient experience and engagement, Sarah Haines, said: “Communication is the first key barrier to health equity and, until you solve that, you can’t move forwards.

“Our medical colleagues in the intensive care unit and elsewhere have been excited about using CardMedic, especially the British Sign Language and easy-read options.”

She added: “Working at ICS level means we can improve communication across multiple settings, enabling more and more people to access the standards of care that they deserve.”

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