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Pocketalk Becomes First HIPAA-Compliant Handheld Translation Device

Pocketalk innovation and tech yields extraordinary experience for patients, tremendous cost savings for healthcare providers and reduces reliance on costly third party translation services.

Pocketalk, the global leader in connecting conversations and removing language barriers, announced it has become the first HIPAA-compliant handheld translation device. The announcement comes on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, which inspired Pocketalk to focus its efforts on connecting patients with their healthcare providers and serving as a critical tool for medical professionals and first responders, arming them with quick, accurate translations in the field when it mattered most.

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With Pocketalk now HIPAA-compliant and ready to be used in clinical settings, caregivers and patients have the ability to speak directly and instantaneously. This elevated communication will deepen patient and caregiver rapport, leading to increased satisfaction for both parties, greater comprehension on diagnosis and treatments, and most importantly, lower rates of readmission.

The clarity, speed and convenience offered by Pocketalk cannot be replicated by translation lines or interpretive services. These existing systems of translation come with long wait times and can cost healthcare providers up to hundreds of dollars per hour. Pocketalk has the ability to dramatically reduce non-medical costs in translation and interpretive services, and offers immediate communication that will eliminate wait times and dependency on other bilingual coworkers. With a combination of speed and direct communication, Pocketalk minimizes scheduling requirements, reduces stress, and ultimately gets patients the care they need to move on to the next phase of treatment.

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With its launch in 2018, Pocketalk was originally designed as a travel-friendly practical communication tool – but when first responders aboard the Diamond Princess cruise line had to quarantine in Yokohama at the start of the pandemic, Pocketalk took action. They donated devices to enhance the communication between first responders and passengers, thereby reducing human interpreter exposure to COVID-19. This incident, as well as the number of cases rapidly increasing, inspired Pocketalk to pivot its focus from world travelers to U.S. first responders and healthcare workers in multilingual communities. The result was the release of Pocketalk Plus, a critical tool for medical professionals and first responders, arming them with quick, accurate translations in the field. Now, being the first HIPAA-compliant translation device, Pocketalk is doubling down on the commitment to break down barriers to communication in crucial situations.

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“The pandemic helped us see just how valuable Pocketalk is in the healthcare space and, to that end, we are empowered and passionate about it helping break down barriers between healthcare providers and patients,” said Joe Miller, general manager of the Americas and Europe at Pocketalk. “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. 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.”

The Pocketalk Plus boasts a large screen that is readable from 6 feet of distance, a strong speaker and a noise canceling microphone – perfect for healthcare professionals to use in a clinical setting. Other features of the device include:

  • Translations for 82 languages
  • The ability to seamlessly provide audio readout in native language
  • Quick and easy to sanitize – just one swipe of an alcohol wipe and you’re able to move from patient to patient
  • A camera that translates text and written words
  • Built-in data (no need for wifi)
  • Access anytime and anywhere – slipping easily into a lab coat, Pocketalk is completely portable

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