Tearing down language barriers in radiology

We sat down together with our client, Christian Lind from Soodia, to talk to him about their experience with language barriers in healthcare, how they tackle them and how they experience the collaboration with Care to Translate.

Tell us a little bit about Soodia and your role in the company.

I am a trained X-ray nurse and also the CEO of Soodia. I started the company in 2018 together with my partner, Sofia Rannberg, with the aim of shortening the waiting times for radiology examinations in Sweden. We do this by using scanning machines and equipment that are already available, but during hours when it isn’t usually used, such as in the evenings and weekends.

In one region, we contributed to reducing the waiting time for computed tomography examinations from 38 to 4 weeks and MRI examinations from 74 to 22 weeks. We reduced the waiting time by a whole year, which is amazing.

That IS amazing! Congratulations!

Thank you. It feels great to help so many people and discover that the waiting times have been reduced for them.

Tell us about your experience of language barriers in your organization. How did you initially realize that you had a need for a translation tool beyond interpreters?

It is not always clear in referrals that we get from health centers if the patients are Swedish-speaking, or have brought a relative or interpreter to the visit.

Imagine that you work in a region with long queues to radiology, and have a limited time for each visit. If a person arrives who cannot speak the language, it is important that they understand the safety procedures, what treatment they will receive, etc. Usually, an interpreter is booked by the region. If there is no interpreter booked, we start searching for a telephone interpreter instead, but they are not always easy to get hold of on short notice.

Can you tell us about a specific situation where you have used the app?

One of the regions we work in has a high share of foreign-born people who do not speak Swedish. During one particular week, about 60% of our patients only spoke Swedish poorly or did not speak Swedish at all. That week, I did not only use the app occasionally. I had it with me all the time.

I have also used the app personally, where I met a cyclist who had been in an accident. Then I could take out my phone, use the part of the app with phrases about pain, and ask where he was hurting, etc. That is one amazing thing about the app, that you can use it in so many different areas; radiology, emergency care, and much more. 

Great to hear that you used it in your personal life too. 
You are one of our longest-running clients. How has Care to Translate affected your patients, employees, and business?

If I start with the employees, it gives excellent added value. Every month we remind the staff to use the app, etc. When we have new hires and they hear about us using the tool, they are impressed that we have listened and put money aside to care for patients. The employees think it's great.

The patients, especially after the examination, are very grateful. They know in their heart that they wouldn't have been able to do the survey if it hadn't been for the app.

In the case of repeat patients, we can use the app to skip the on-site interpreter completely.

Financially speaking, if we use the app 5 times over the course of a year, it's worth it to me. But in theory, there are probably a hundred cases. Imagine trying to find and book interpreters for these 100 cases instead. There is an incredible financial gain in using the app. We also save time and resources since we don't need to call for interpreters during a patient visit. 

Thank you Christian for taking the time to answer our questions. Have a nice day!

For more information about the partnership, please continue reading the Soodia case study.