Innovation That Matters

Translation device | Photo source Pixabay

Wearable translation device to aid healthcare sector

Work & Lifestyle

The device could help workers in healthcare communicate with non-native speakers while using their hands.

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Japan’s Fujitsu Laboratories has developed the world’s first wearable, hands-free speech translation device, which could be suitable for industries where the users’ hands are often occupied, such as in diagnoses or treatment in healthcare. With an increase in the number of visitors to Japan has come a hike in non-Japanese speaking patients going to hospitals, creating issues in understanding communication in multiple languages. After conducting research into the matter, Fujitsu Laboratories discovered that, because there are many situations in which healthcare providers have their hands full such as when providing care in a hospital ward, there was a need for a wearable speech translation device that could be used without being physically touched.

The device was created by developing technology to differentiate speakers and features small omnidirectional microphones. This action is possible through modification of the shape of the sound channel, and by improving the accuracy of speech detection technology that is highly resistant to background noise. During testing, the tool achieved a speech detection accuracy of 95 percent in an environment with comparable noise levels to an examination room in a large hospital – about 60 decibels of noise –­ at a natural distance for a face-to-face conversation between a healthcare provider and a patient of about 80 cm. Fujitsu is planning to roll out widespread testing in hospitals from November.

Healthcare technology has revolutionised some of the actions that take place in hospitals, such as the secure application that allows parents to watch on their hospitalized children from home, and the drone that transfers laboratory samples between hospitals in Switzerland. How could a translation device help expand your business reach?




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