Language Line Services, the leading provider of over-the-phone and video interpretation services, and NexTalk, Inc., the leader in deaf-accessible enterprise communication and remote interpreting solutions, have joined forces to offer an enhanced, computer-based version of Language Line Video Interpreter Service, providing real-time connectivity to qualified interpreters on-demand, 24/7. This joint venture will create the largest video remote interpreter provider and make video interpretation as accessible as the Internet.
The service will be launched in the top five spoken languages in use today - Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese - plus American Sign Language (ASL) and Mexican Sign Language or Lengua de Senas Mexicana (LSM). For the first time, customers will have the option of using their own computer systems, traditional video conferencing equipment, and Web browser connectivity to access Language Line Services' staff of professionally trained and certified interpreters. They will continue to have the option to purchase or lease systems from the company, including the Language Line "Rover," a portable video monitor unit in use in hospitals across the country.
"NexTalk's technology, combined with our scope and breadth of interpreter services, has solved many of the logistical and technical hurdles - including cost, liability and quality concerns - which have hampered the efforts of smaller video remote interpreter networks lacking the solid financial backing and workforce of Language Line Services," said Louis Provenzano, company President and Chief Operating Officer. "Although many systems have been evaluated, the NexTalk solution offers unmatched functionality and has proven itself to be robust, stable and customer friendly. We are now on the verge of an industry transformation, similar to the leap in over-the-phone interpretation achieved with the dual-handset phone in terms of adoption and customer acceptance."
Program integration is underway and an early adopter testing period will follow shortly, with the enhanced Language Line Video Interpreter Service available nationwide by the end of the year. Language Line Services is already working with a large group of customers agreeing to be early adopters to ensure the new service meets market needs, especially among health care providers, where video interpretation has had its biggest penetration and potentially most life-altering impact.
"Parkland has always been an early adopter when it comes to harnessing technology to provide the best care for our patients, but only when we are confident that the solutions being offered are sound and come from a trusted source," noted Deborah Moore, Director of Patient Relations for Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, TX, one of the designated beta test sites for the new system. "That's why we've avoided patchwork systems and non-scalable solutions in the video interpretation arena. We are eager to take part in the testing of the enhanced Language Line Video Interpreter Service, which will work within our existing network and promises to be very easy to use."
Today, hospitals and clinics across the country are using the Language Line Video Interpreter Service or NexTalk Video solutions to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which requires health care providers who treat patients with public insurance to provide interpreter services to those patients.
"Video interpreting allows our patients round-the-clock timely access to American Sign Language interpreters and has been an invaluable addition to our language access services since 2005," said Jonathan Hirsch, Director of Guest Services with Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, NJ, the first hospital to use the video interpreter service developed by Holy Name and Language Line Services. "At Holy Name, we've proven time and again that video technology is viable and necessary to facilitate communication between providers and patients, and we're pleased that this valuable service will now be readily accessible to all health care providers."
According to Gary Bowen, CEO of NexTalk, the new service will be offered as a Web browser connection as well as customized and value-add applications, including point-to-point video calling, video relay calling, text (TTY) and text relay calling. These interfaces will be secured to each customer through account and computer-based security, using the latest data transmission security protocols and in full HIPAA compliance. Because of the portability of the service, Language Line Services will also be able to offer mobile and field-ready applications that include support of emergency response, insurance and government needs.
"The ever-diversifying patient populations of U.S. hospitals demand new tools and technology to aid communication between health care providers and limited English speakers," said Marian Graney, Director of Telecommunications Strategy and Support at Daughters of Charity Health System, based in Los Altos Hills, CA. "At Daughters of Charity Health System, at least 20 languages were consistently spoken by patients seeking medical services in 2009. Having an easily accessed video interpretation service enterprise-wide could reap huge benefits for our patients related to safety, quality of care and satisfaction."
NexTalk, Inc. provides enterprise communication solutions that enable government, commercial and non-profit entities to communicate and work seamlessly and effectively with individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing or require language interpreting. The company is privately held, with corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. Its patented technology, best-of-breed products and services, and a customer base of hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of users worldwide, demonstrate that NexTalk is the clear leader in deaf-accessible communications.
About Language Line Services
Language Line Services, the global leader in telephone interpreting and language solutions, serves clients in government, health care, telecommunications, financial services, utilities, insurance and many other industries by quickly connecting them to their customers, patients and sales prospects in more than 170 spoken languages as well as American Sign Language (ASL) and Mexican Sign Language (LSM). Growth of the language interpreting industry has soared with increased immigration and government regulatory policies mandating that organizations provide services to limited English speakers in their own languages. Language Line Services is recognized as a trusted partner to thousands of public and private organizations throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, providing easy access to the industry's fastest language interpreting service at highly competitive rates. For more information about Language Line Services' suite of telephone, on-site and video interpreting, document translation, interactive software-based translation, interpreter training and certification programs, please call (800) 752-6096 or visit www.languageline.com.