Using Technology to Improve Communication of Care Needs for Older People from CALD Backgrounds

It is challenging to identify and discuss healthcare needs when all parties do not speak the same language. Interpreters can be costly and difficult to access for everyday communication in care settings. This is why they are generally only sought for specialist assessments or interventions. Therefore everyday communication typically has to rely on gestures, facial expressions and the use of a few key words in the person’s language. As a consequence, the potential for miscommunication resulting in inappropriate or inadequate care provision is high.

The role of technology in enabling everyday communication in care settings has not been explored in detail.

The aim of this study is to evaluate the accuracy, feasibility, and acceptability of using existing voice-based translation technology to assist everyday communication between older people and their care worker(s) who do not speak the same language.

This project will scope and review existing voice based translation technology, testing both for user-friendliness and accuracy.  These will then be assessed with older people from CALD backgrounds to evaluate their feasibility and acceptability for healthcare related conversations.

Project Status

In October 2017, the project team and sites are being finalised. The project protocol is in development, and ethics approval is being sought.

Technology status update October 2017