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Secure clinical video service launches multi-language features to support 1 in 10 patients with language barriers in healthcare

vCreate, the NHS-Trusted clinical video service, has launched a series of new features to improve access to healthcare for 1 in 10 UK patients whose first language isn’t English.

The technology allows the secure sharing of videos and messages between clinical teams, patients and families to digitise the patient pathway and enhance Family-Integrated Care (FI Care). Used in more than 200 units across the UK, the service is predominantly offered to families in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and paediatric neurology centres.

With the introduction of the new features, patients and families can now select their language of choice when logging-in to the app. This translates the entire interface and all messages to and from clinical teams so patients and caregivers struggling with language barriers can communicate effectively with healthcare professionals.

An estimated 10% of NHS patients don’t speak English as their first language, and in areas like London and other major cities, the figure grows to around 1 in 5. Recent studies reveal the feelings of isolation, delayed or missed opportunities to be involved in their or their child’s care, and reduced social and emotional support experienced by patients and families who struggle with language barriers.

Consultant Neonatologist, Dr. Neil Patel, whose team have been using the new language features to support families at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow, said: “It’s crucial to our patients’ health and wellbeing that we can communicate with all of their families quickly and accurately.

“We understand that a stay in the NICU is a distressing experience, but it can be even more isolating and daunting for those who don’t speak English. The new auto-translated messaging function in vCreate Video Diaries is going to be very important to help us ensure that all parents can stay connected with their babies, and are properly supported to be involved in their care on and off the unit, regardless of their language.”  

The current list of integrated languages includes French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali, Ukrainian and Urdu and is continually growing.

vCreate has also introduced an array of other features to its video services, including password-less login using Face and Fingerprint ID, a user activity timeline and new ILAE Epilepsy Syndrome Classifications.

Ben Moore, Founder of vCreate, said: “We’re thrilled to be empowering more patients and families with the digital tools to take control of their healthcare journeys and communicate directly with their clinical teams. The new updates aim to further expedite the patient pathway, enhance clinical insights and improve patient outcomes, particularly for those who struggle with language barriers.”

In line with the government’s new plan for Digital Health and Social Care, vCreate’s system is continually being adapted to improve digital patient pathways and diagnostic management for clinicians, families and patients.