Identification and Evaluation of Medical Translator Mobile Applications Using an Adapted APPLICATIONS Scoring System

Amrin Khander, Sara Farag, Katherine T. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Importance: With an increasing number of patients requiring translator services, many providers are turning to mobile applications (apps) for assistance. However, there have been no published reviews of medical translator apps. Objective: To identify and evaluate medical translator mobile apps using an adapted APPLICATIONS scoring system. Design: A list of apps was identified from the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores, using the search term, "medical translator." Apps not found on two different searches, not in an English-based platform, not used for translation, or not functional after purchase, were excluded. The remaining apps were evaluated using an adapted APPLICATIONS scoring system, which included both objective and subjective criteria. App comprehensiveness was a weighted score defined by the number of non-English languages included in each app relative to the proportion of non-English speakers in the United States. Setting: The Apple iTunes and Google Play stores. Participants: Medical translator apps identified using the search term "medical translator." Main Outcomes and Measures: Compilation of medical translator apps for provider usage. Results: A total of 524 apps were initially found. After applying the exclusion criteria, 20 (8.2%) apps from the Google Play store and 26 (9.2%) apps from the Apple iTunes store remained for evaluation. The highest scoring apps, Canopy Medical Translator, Universal Doctor Speaker, and Vocre Translate, scored 13.5 out of 18.7 possible points. Conclusions and Relevance: A large proportion of apps initially found did not function as medical translator apps. Using the APPLICATIONS scoring system, we have identified and evaluated medical translator apps for providers who care for non-English speaking patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-603
Number of pages10
JournalTelemedicine Journal and e-Health
Volume24
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Keywords

  • E-Health
  • education
  • technology
  • telemedicine

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