Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health Awards HYKIST Speech Project to AppTek

AppTek, a provider of artificial intelligence, speech recognition, neural machine translation, and natural language understanding technologies, has been selected by the German Federal Ministry of Health for the HYKIST project to assist language mediators who work remotely with hospitals throughout Germany, facilitating multilingual communication with automatic speech recognition and neural machine translation.

"Language barriers remain a significant hurdle when it comes to effective medical care worldwide. Unfortunately there are not enough interpreters available to address even basic medical requirements across a variety of languages and dialects," said Dr. Volker Steinbiss, managing director of AppTek, in a statement. "Especially in 2020 with the global pandemic, we have seen firsthand the importance of accurate communication in healthcare. AppTek is honored to provide our automatic speech translation capability to deliver real-world change that benefits the global healthcare community."

The HYKIST project is an artificial intelligence-based, real-time automatic speech interpreting and translation system designed for language mediators to speak with non-German speaking patients. Through HYKIST, ASR and NMT will be combined with a dialogue system for capturing initial medical history and integrated into the Triaphon telecommunication platform already being used to assign language mediators to urgent phone conversations with medical staff in real time. The HYKIST project involves Triaphon, a non-profit organization working to improve urgent medical care for patients with language barriers, Fraunhofer FOKUS, a research organization, and RWTH Aachen University, the largest technical university in Germany.

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