ELKHART — A local health center is making it easier for non-English-speaking residents to receive care by connecting them to an interpreter via remote video system.

Instead of waiting for one of the bilingual staff members to become available or an interpreter to arrive on site, the physicians and patients at Heart City Health Center will only have to wait for the touch of a screen.

The InDemand Interpreting system is on a portable stand with a large touchscreen and camera that allows the interpreter, physician and patient to connect in seconds. One dentist at the center has used the system many times and compared it to a popular cell phone app.

“It’s very easy to use. I compare it to Facetime,” Dr. Alison Robertson said. “You touch the screen and it’s nice being able to see someone as well when you’re communicating. It transports very easily, so we bring it right in with the patient.”

The device allows them to interpret 99 different languages with 20 languages offering a face-to-face interaction. Other than Spanish, the staff members have most often called for Russian, Cantonese and  American Sign Language interpreters.

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