Tag Archive for cultural diversity health care

Smart phones becoming a key tool for patients—and medical professionals

If you thought that smart phones were the exclusive province of the technorati and teenagers, a recent whitepaper released by the California Healthcare Foundation suggests that health care is also avidly embracing the new devices.

Entitled “How Smartphones Are Changing Health Care for Consumers and Providers,” the paper illustrates just how eagerly the industry and public are incorporating and using these evolving handheld tools. It also identifies the most important emerging usage trends.

According to the report, two-thirds of physicians and more than 40 percent of American consumers used a smart phone in 2009. Meanwhile, the numbers of phone applications related to health and health care is growing to keep pace. The paper reports that as of February 2010, the Apple AppStore offered about 6,000 apps, 73 percent of which were meant for consumer or patient end-users, 27 percent for health care professionals.

Apps targeted at physicians include the following:
• Alerts
• Medical reference tools
• Diagnostic tools
• Continuing medical education
• Patient records programs

Consumer-oriented apps include:
• Medication compliance
• Mobile and home monitoring
• Home care
• Managing conditions
• Wellness/fitness

While issues like privacy remain to be worked out before the technology is likely to achieve widespread adoption, healthcare professionals and their patients are clearly interested. Might they be right for your practice or organization? To learn more, read the entire California Healthcare Foundation whitepaper.

Good health!

Growing Asian healthcare needs represent enormous opportunity

The traditional business sector has for generations understood the powerful attraction of what has come to be called simply “the China market.” With the largest population on the planet, it has been and remains an undeniably enticing prospect.

Now, as that nation of billions moves furiously down the road of development, and as numerous other Asian nations follow suit, healthcare organizations are increasingly taking notice of what could be a monumental list of new healthcare needs.

According to Asian Hospital & Healthcare Management, Asia has 60 percent of the world’s population, but only accounts for 15 percent of global healthcare expenditures. Meanwhile, those expenditures are growing at an annual rate of more than 6 percent across Asia, driven in part by increases in chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.

Aging is another daunting healthcare challenge, especially in countries like Japan and China. For example, Asian Hospital & Healthcare Management reports that Japan is expected to see its population of 65 and older reach 22 percent of the population by 2012, up from 20.6 percent as recently as 2007.

The opportunities to meet the needs of this burgeoning audience are exciting, but the challenges of language and culture mean that only the best prepared are likely to succeed. Next week, we’ll explore what that means for the largest of these audiences—China.

Good health!

For a smoother healthcare translation project, start with the technology

Technology can play a critical role in translation and localization projects, and both Flash and XML are important pieces of that technology puzzle. To make life easier it’s best to acquire a good understanding of what they are how they work.

XML stands for Extensible Markup Language and allows the creator of XML Web pages to be more creative and extensive when setting up a Web site. To correctly localize XML documents your language service provider (LSP) team needs to know which elements and attributes are translatable.

Flash files are designed for video, graphics and animation and are editable with Adobe or Macromedia Flash software. Flash often reads text from resource files, which are often XML, so your LSP team can translate the XML files associated with the Flash file.

Both Flash and XML files can sometimes also include subfiles and reference material that you can provide to your LSP in order to make the localization process even easier.

For more, check out “Speaking Your Customer’s Language”.

Good health!