(Clearwater, FL) July 24, 2014—While healthcare facilities and U.S. courts have each reported finding difficulty in providing quality interpretation services to non-English speakers within their systems, that demand doesn’t appear to be slowing down. According to Common Sense Advisory, the language service market will grow from $2 billion in 2014 to $2.3 billion in 2016 (1); additionally, officials at Stratus Video Interpreting expect $1 billion of this market to shift over to video remote interpreting (http://www.stratusvideo.com/ ) (VRI) in lieu of face-to-face and over-the-phone interpreting (OPI). Stratus maintains that the growing limited English proficiency (LEP) population within the U.S. is signaling a need for more efficient, cost-effective and advanced technology with regard to language services—and with such technology available, Stratus is calling for nationwide standardization in an effort to maintain equal access to language services for every U.S. citizen.
Currently, courts and hospitals nationwide are finding themselves facing substantial delays and costs due to an increasing LEP population combined with a lack of timely access to qualified interpreters. As of 2011, the U.S. LEP population sits at 25 million—an increase of 81% since 1980—and 94% of those individuals reside in core urban areas or surrounding counties. (2) According to Stratus CEO Sean Belanger, healthcare facilities and courts located within these urban areas must often hire an interpreter from another county, and as a result, they are left facing the cost of gas/mileage, in addition to the interpreter’s hourly rate—which, with overtime, can reach upwards of $55 per hour for certified and professionally qualified court interpreters. (3) As costs and demand have steadily increased, a more affordable and effective solution is being sought by healthcare and court systems alike—a solution which some say has been found in VRI, which combines the benefits of both OPI and face-to-face interpreting by offering the same personal one-on-one feel of face-to-face interpreting, but with the cost structure and speed of answer equal to that of OPI.
“VRI is much more economical and efficient than either face-to-face or OPI interpreting,” said Belanger. “With VRI, you’re getting high quality face-to-face interpreting, combined with the affordability of on demand interpreting—you only pay for what you use, when you use it. VRI gets interpreters in front of patients faster, is available 24 hours a day, and accomplishes all of this at lower cost.” More.
See: mHealth News