Technology will increase healthcare equity and access for patients requiring interpretation services.

Edmonton, AB – June 7, 2022

Patients and clinicians will soon have support to ensure patients receive diagnostic imaging care in their first language, regardless of availability of in-house interpreters. According to the most recent census, over 900,000 Alberta residents indicate a first language other than French or English, the official languages of Canada.i Communicating with patients in their desired language is essential to ensuring high quality of care, and finding staff to interpret in a timely manner can be challenging for clinics.

Through its work with Health Cities, MIC Medical Imaging (MIC) identified the need to expand interpretation services for patients. As Alberta’s largest radiology partnership, MIC consists of 96 radiologists with diverse sub-specialties and areas of expertise and over 450 technologists and support staff. MIC is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of patients through high quality of care, and effective communication is a critical factor to patient experience. Expanding the interpretation services available at MIC could enhance communication, leading to improved care, patient experience, and care equity.

To build upon these opportunities, Health Cities introduced Voyce Canada, a Canadian medical interpretation company that supports over 240 languages, including American sign-language, and provides remote, on-demand access to medically trained and certified interpreters. The partnership will validate Voyce’s medical interpretation platform in a diagnostic imaging setting, and is the first implementation of the Voyce solution in Alberta. MIC staff will be able to request an interpreter by selecting a language from the menu which lists the language in English and in the targeted language; and administration will be able to utilize the dashboard that provides real time data and analytics to identify languages requested, length of time with the engagement with the interpreter, wait time, and number of total minutes used by the organization.

The project aims to demonstrate increased health equality among MIC clients through clear and accurate communication in a language of choice, improve experience and comfort with MIC booking and clinical services, and increase support for patients, their family members, and MIC staff.

“MIC is excited to leverage an innovative platform to provide care to MIC patients in their first language. We appreciate the stress patients may experience when coming to MIC for a test or procedure; enhanced communication tools are a key enabler in a positive patient experience and we feel the Voyce platform creates a patient centric experience,” said Jeff Vandersteen, Director of IT at MIC.

“When patients enter the walls of a hospital without speaking the local language, they are often at their most vulnerable state, and together with Medical Imaging Consultants, Voyce is excited to offer patients in Alberta a simple and reliable solution that bridges those language and cultural barriers to instantly give them a voice,” said Andrew Royce, CEO of Voyce. “There is nothing more personal to any of us than our health, and no matter where in the world a person is from, we want them to feel at home when seeking care.”

“Diagnostic imaging is an essential care service that each Albertan will access at some point in their lives. Validating Voyce’s medical interpretation technology with MIC, Alberta’s largest network of medical imaging providers, demonstrates how non-medical innovation impacts Alberta’s health outcomes and economy,” said Reg Joseph, CEO at Health Cities. “Not only are we introducing a new company to Alberta’s health innovation market, this project addresses challenges facing care providers and increases equity and access to care.”

 

About MIC

MIC is an expert and trusted partner to Edmonton and area primary care practitioners and specialists.

MIC radiologists play an essential role in 12 Edmonton area hospitals and community health centres, providing diagnostic imaging at the University Hospitals, Stollery Children’s Hospital, Mazankowski Heart Institute, Kaye Edmonton Clinic, Royal Alexandra HospitalsGrey Nuns Community HospitalStrathcona Community HospitalSturgeon Community HospitalFort Saskatchewan Community Hospital, Leduc Community Hospital, East Edmonton Community Health Centre and Northeast Community Health Centre.

The specialists at these hospitals trust our radiologists to provide expert advice and recommendations in a wide range of sub-specialties.

We are proud to be able to extend the same expert level of diagnostic imaging to practitioners and patients through our 13 community-based clinics located in Edmonton, St. Albert, Ft. Saskatchewan and Sherwood Park. Our radiologists take a collaborative approach and draw on our ‘in-house’ expertise when reviewing scans and dealing with complex conditions.

 

About Voyce

Voyce is a technology company deeply committed to helping people in need facing language barriers, enabling them to easily and quickly communicate and get help. Voyce’s professional and qualified language interpreters provide interpretation across a variety of technology and telehealth platforms in 240 languages and dialects, including American Sign Language. Across the U.S., Canada, U.K. and globally, Voyce supports thousands of sessions a day providing language assistance to those in need.

 

About Health Cities

Health Cities is a Canadian not-for-profit corporation that works with clinicians, innovators, philanthropic organizations, and companies to develop new models of care that can drive better health outcomes and economic growth in the health sector. Our focus is on transforming innovations from our health sector into solutions that have commercial application and global relevance, adopting them for impact locally and scaling them for export to global markets.

i Statistics Canada. 2017. Focus on Geography Series, 2016 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-404-X2016001. Ottawa, Ontario. Data products, 2016 Census.

Media Inquiries:
Health Cities
Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard
Email: media@healthcities.ca
Phone: 780-628-3101