A new tech application called Aalia.Tech allows foreigners not fluent in French to communicate with doctors and health personnel. The platform translates questions from caregivers into the patient's native language in real time.
For foreigners in France who are not fluent in French, getting medical care or maneuvering a doctor’s visit can often be a stressful, complicated business. It’s not easy for medical professionals either. In many cases, an interpreter is needed for both patient and caregiver to understand each other. But translators are not always available, leaving foreigners to fend for themselves in a language they haven’t mastered.
Enter Aalia.Tech, a voice assistant application founded by Samah Ghalloussi, an engineer and data specialist. The app aims to overcome linguistic barriers and facilitate communication between patients and medical practitioners who speak different languages. The primary goal of the app is to prevent diagnostic errors due to misunderstandings.
Real time translation
The platform works like a voice assistant: it translates in real time the conversations between health professionals and their patients, while taking into account specificities of dialects and medical contexts. The presence of a third person is no longer necessary.
Morover, the conversation is presented to the doctor in real time so that they can know exactly what the patient understands, allowing for a better follow-up between the practitioner and the patient.
"With this site, we want to help doctors confronted with foreigners as well as patients who do not understand French well," explained Ghalloussi. "We collaborate with different associations that help migrants such as the Red Cross as well as field workers who use Aalia.Tech with their non-French speaking patients," she added.
The service is available in nearly 50 languages, including English, French, Arabic, Persian and Swahili.
Register, download, start a consultation
To use Aalia.Tech, users have to register on the company website and download the app on their mobile phones. Users must select their language, enter their names and an email address. The application then authorizes users to start a consultation.
The project is still in its infancy. "For now, we are testing and it works well. We are trying to perfect the application and make it evolve," said Ghalloussi.