In February of 2020, only 0.02% of Australian patients reported using video conferencing for a health consultation. Two months later, that number had skyrocketed to 35%, an unprecedented growth of 1750% by April 2020.
This trend held true for many English speaking markets, as telehealth appointments rose throughout Europe and the United States. Coupled with the intensified global migration of the last decade, providers will see an increased demand for language support compatible with telehealth solutions.
According to the University of Queensland in Australia and the Australian Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) data, 14.2 million telehealth consultations were provided in Q3 of 2021, with 11% of those being delivered via video conference and 89% via telephone.
These numbers indicate a steady adoption of telehealth options by the wider Australian public, which means more limited English proficiency (LEP) patients will be seeking out services. Even before the changing healthcare norms of the pandemic, Australia was experiencing a rise in the need for medical language support because of a steady growth in the number of citizens who speak a language at home other than English.
For healthcare providers, there are options for delivering secure language support on these telehealth platforms. Medical language support (i.e., medical interpretation) can be provided via telephone through over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) or video remote interpreting (VRI).
Explosive Growth Predictions
This increased demand in the telehealth industry for better language support follows an expansion in both the language services and telehealth industries.
The global language service industry has a predicted compound growth rate (CGR) of 6.0%, with a predicted market valuation of USD 73.6bn by the end of 2025. The telehealth industry has even more explosive growth predictions, with a staggering predicted CGR of 27.2% and an expected market valuation of USD 271bn by 2026.
Already, doctors are raising the alarm about LEP patients being left behind by telehealth growth.
Aside from needing to translate web pages and instructions just for patients to get access, adding an interpreter into telehealth can pose logistic and security challenges. The need for better options for language support in telehealth is crucial, however, as we know that the risk of poor health outcomes increases significantly without access to medical interpreters.
To discuss the intersection of these market trends with the real-life experience of patients with telehealth, Slator has partnered with Boostlingo to present a panel on “Opportunities and Challenges in the Australasian Telehealth Market.”
On Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 15:00 AEDT, Boostlingo, a leader in global interpretation technology, will present an in-depth panel with industry experts discussing the telehealth market’s intersection with the language services industry at SlatorCon Remote Session I.
Dieter Runge, Co-founder and VP of Marketing & Global Business Development at Boostlingo, will be joined by Tea Dietterich, Founder & CEO, 2M Language Services and President, Australasian Association of Language Companies (AALC); and Yue Hu, Director of Transcultural & Language Service and Narrun Wilip-giin Aboriginal Support Unit at Northern Health.