Minnesota-based GeaCom has created a "universal communicator" device for medical professionals that helps them communicate with patients who speak a different language. More than 100 languages can be supported in one device. The handheld device, called Phrazer, offers a touch screen interface that collects a patient's information, including medical history, symptoms and complaints. That information is collected through interactive, pre-recorded videos of a doctor speaking the patient's preferred language. Interestingly, GeaCom says that the device also monitors the patient's vital signs during this process to determine whether they need attention immediately. GeaCom says the device can also send the information via Bluetooth or USB into most "major" electronic medical records system.
Do physicians really need another mobile device? Wouldn't a hosted service running off a tablet like the iPad would be easier and less expensive? GeaCom just recently unveiled the device and is only beginning to pilot it with some of its core customers. No word yet on pricing or business model, but leveraging existing devices like a tablet or smartphone has to be less costly.
Here's a video demo of the Phrazer device: