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Article
October 4, 1995

Computer-Based Medical Translator System Helps Bridge Language Gap Between Physician, Patient

JAMA. 1995;274(13):1002-1004. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530130008002

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Abstract

THE PATIENT does not speak English. In fact, the physician is uncertain what language the patient does speak.

Enter, the Multimedia Medical Language Translator.

Because it is involved in medicine— and additionally because it was "born" and now is serving in the US military— this translation device naturally is known by its initials. In this case, they are MLT (for Medical Language Translator).

Computer-Based System  And what exactly is the MLT? Distributed as a CD-ROM disc (compact disc read-only memory), MLT is a computer-based system that is run on a laptop-size personal computer.In medical use, it allows the physician to determine which language the patient is familiar with, to ask questions and give directions or explanations in that language (via the recorded voice of a native speaker), and to have the patient's responses translated to English.The phrases available to the physician are designed to elicit brief responses (yes

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