In the United States, the language barrier in the EMS field is problematic. A report from the Center for Immigration Studies has determined that one out of every five U.S. residents doesn’t speak English in their home.
I am not ashamed to admit that my limited knowledge of medicine was obtained 90% from Grey’s Anatomy episodes, and 10% from my college education.
What I did learn is the first few minutes are crucial when assessing a patient in an emergency situation. The 1st Minute App bridges language gaps and facilitates a relevant conversation in less time for a quicker assessment of patients.
Even pop culture has an understanding on the language gap dilemma.
Like any true Grey’s Anatomy fan, I feel like I, too, am a surgeon after watching all 11 seasons (ah, yes, pass the scalpel). I have it drilled in my brain that there are the emergency ABC’s of patient care. It stands for checking a patient’s airway, breathing, and circulation, in that order. If that patient cannot communicate with you, it is extremely difficult for the physician to properly assess the situation in a short amount of time. That’s where it clicked in my brain: if only Izzie had used the 1st Minute App!
Grey’s Anatomy is known for portraying relevant issues in emergency situations. In fact, there is an episode dedicated to bridging the language gap in the ER. A frantic Chinese-speaking patient comes in with injuries and tries in vain to communicate to doctor Izzie. There would not have been an hour-long episode detailing these events if Izzie had pulled up the 1st Minute App on her phone. But alas, the TV-show creator, Shonda Rhimes, would certainly not allow such a loophole. It’s never that easy on Grey’s Anatomy. But in real life, this application could be groundbreaking.
1st Minute App has the key ingredients to solve the language problem for Emergency Medical Services and rescue teams. 1st Minute App is currently in the Tech Wildcatters EMERGE accelerator program in Dallas for first responder application.