The Interpretation Centre in Västerbotten offers support to people with deafness and blindness, and those suffering from a hearing imparement. In the middle of the 1990s, this centre started a project to offer writing interpretation remotely. The interpreter utilizes a video conferencing system or web cam and the patient watches the interpretating on a computer, tablet or video conferencing system. Information is transferred using a fixed or mobile broadband network.
Remote interpretation is typically carried out during a two-part conversation, for example during a visit to a phycisian or a phychologist but also during other types of meetings, including meetings with more than two participants. The current work model involves writing-, sign as support and sign language interpreters.
As Västerbotten is a large county an important benefit of working with distance technology is that the interpreters reduces their time on the road and have more time for assignments. Having the interpreter at a distance also seems to be better for certain patients, as this means fewer people in the room. Another advantage is that the county council can service other county councils with interpreter services.
This text has been originally released in the following report: Telemedicine Survey in the County Council of Västerbotten -An analysis of the present situation, conditions and areas of improvement.