GPs Turn to SMS to Talk to Deaf Patients

mkodo has revealed that SignHealth, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sign, is using its Intelligent Mobile Platform (IMP) within its health program to send SMS text messages to deaf patients.
SignHealth is a web-based communication tool for GPs and deaf patients. It converts questions from English to British Sign Language (BSL) via short video clips. One of the features of the program is SMS, which allows the GP or Nurse to text appointment details or results of tests directly to the deaf patient.
Until now, a GP has relied upon an interpreter or a patients family member to bridge the communication gap with deaf (BSL) patients. In some cases, surgeries can wait up to two weeks for a qualified sign language interpreter, which makes last-minute appointments virtually impossible.
The SignHealth program gives surgeries the ability to communicate effectively with deaf patients without an appointment (or where an interpreter is not available), and to alert them of appointment details or test results using SMS text messages. Surgeries can now simply text information directly to their deaf patients, thus reducing any possible confusion.
Our goal is to help deaf people live more independently in the community and SignHealth is an effective and clever way of improving communication when a BSL interpreter is not available says SignHealth Managing Director Phil Murden. mkodo, through its IMP, has enabled us to provide SMS as an instant means of communication between GPs and their patients. It saves time for GPs and nurses, reduces the number of missed appointments and improves access to primary care for deaf people.
Mkodo Executive Director Sue Yoxall adds:
We are pleased to see the innovative way SignHealth is using SMS, a very popular and flexible technology. SMS is the best way to communicate quickly with anyone anywhere, given that nearly everyone now has a mobile phone. Our IMP platform makes it simple for surgeries to send texts quickly and efficiently. Not only that, it stores the information sent and collates it in real time, so that an administrator can immediately see who they have texted and what they have said.