Summer Travels: Seeking Medical Care in Foreign Countries

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Summertime is here (along with the heat wave!) and that means vacations are starting for many. This also means it’s peak tourist season as many of us will be traveling to different places around the globe, hoping to find that particularly special escape from our daily lives. So what will it be this year – are you off to a hot or cold destination?

No matter the destination (or the weather), there is one thing every traveller thinks about, especially if they’re traveling with their family to foreign destinations – safety. Do you have the tools and information you need to travel safely and securely? One important aspect of safety is our health. Research has shown that roughly half of overseas travelers develop medical problems during their journey. What would happen if you or a loved one got sick? What if you had to seek medical care in a foreign country?

A multilingual healthcare communication solution in your pocket

Our team here at UniversalDoctor thinks about this constantly, always looking at how we can use our core strengths to help you stay in good health, even abroad. That’s why we developed a mobile application that uses the technology of our multilingual software system for Hospitals.

It’s called:  UniversalDoctor Speaker: Medical Translator with Audio

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What does it do?

Well, it’s the most comprehensive mobile medical translator app –  with thousands of sentences and native audios in 13 languages to facilitate medical visits in over 120 countries. That’s over 60% of the world’s countries! It covers every step of medical visits, whether you’re in a hospital or primary care clinic, starting from accurately explaining your symptoms to understanding your diagnosis and treatment. How do we do this? By providing translations from both the patient side and the doctor side that are organized in a way to facilitate multilingual communication between you and a doctor.

That’s not all, the app also features:

  • SEARCH – a search function helping you find the phrase you need in an emergency,
  • TRANSLATE YOUR HEALTH – the capacity to translate your medical conditions, allergies and prescriptions,
  • OFFLINE MODE – the app works entirely offline so you don’t need any connection or data plan to use the app.

And best of all, it doesn’t add any weight to your suitcase as it operates directly from your mobile device (iPhone or iPad… Android version coming soon!).


Now you may have noticed that we said 13 languages earlier, but there are 12 currently in the app… that’s because we’re just about to launch a NEW language that has been in very high demand by our users and will come in very handy during the upcoming vacation season!

Keep your eye on this blog to find out which new language we’re adding very soon…


Our Vision of Health 2.0 in Berlin

Recently one of the most important events in the field of Health 2.0 was held in Berlin – Health 2.0 Europe. With over 300 attendees from 30+ countries and 75 speakers presenting new Health 2.0 projects and technologies, it was certainly a showcase of innovation and transformation in healthcare.

The conference was held in the largest Hospital in Germany, Charité , not far from the Brandenburg Gate. Less than 500 meters from where the wall divided Europe, more than 400 people from both sides of Europe gathered to enjoy the latest in Health 2.0 technologies.

The audience was up close and interactive with the intense and inspiring lineup of speakers who presented the merits of their Health 2.0 technology or project to transform healthcare.

From this lineup, we’d like to highlight projects that stood out to us…

SXT Health CIC – A mobile SMS-based platform that provides rapid access to tailored sexual health information and medical professionals based on need and geography.

Blue Button – Innovation to allow patients access to their own medical records was one of the important issues of the day and so it is important to emphasize the concept of Blue Button technology – allowing patients simple yet secure access to their personal medical history through a highly visible, clickable button. This electronic health record (EHR) can be downloaded and made available to a specialist with only one click. Blue Button is now in widespread use by hospitals, doctors and health plans across the United States. Several vendors of this system, including the U.S. Administration, explained the possibilities of this technology for patient information.

In the closing Keynote, Peter Levin, Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and developer of the Blue Button initiative, spoke about the incredible impact of the Blue Button and how important it is to give this accessibility to patients, while safeguarding their patient data and maintaining data security.

The Vice President of Kaiser Permanente also explained how this innovative American insurer tries to give access to mobile history to all its affiliates. – A powerful multilingual search and access system for biomedical information, which will provide reliable and understandable text and image results from multiple data sources. It’s geared not only to medical doctors and radiologists, but also to patients and their relatives seeking trusted and understandable medical information in their own language.

iWantGreatCare – A platform allowing local patients to rate and review doctors, dentists, hospitals, medicines and care homes, in the language of their choice. Using real-time patient experience to transform patient care.

Medting – A web-based platform for clinical case collaboration allowing doctors to request second opinions from other doctors around the world.

Fundacion Recover – An organization working to make healthcare more accessible in disadvantaged areas by using web and social technologies to allow physicians from Africa to collaborate and request second opinions from physicians in Spain. Fundacion Recover has an innovative partnership with Medting to connect African doctors to specialists in Spain to work jointly on difficult medical cases and deliver care in Africa. 

And finally, UniversalDoctor Speaker was presented! With many positive reactions from the attendees, some of which are shared below:

We received a lot of interest on creating joint platforms and integrating UniversalDoctor multilingual technology into various Health 2.0 projects. We’re excited to move forward on these ideas.

The Health 2.0 Conference in Berlin ended with a dinner where all the different Health 2.0 Chapter managers explained what Europeans are doing in their respective cities. Many laughs and stories were shared among this lively group of European entrepreneurs trying to influence innovation in this field. These past few weeks, the Chapter of Barcelona has been very active and is becoming a strong local network.

This year’s Health 2.0 Europe Conference was once again a great success thanks to  Matthew Holt (Health 2.0 Conference co-founder), Pascal Lardier (Health 2.0’s international ambassador), Emily Hagerman, Grace Moen, Patrick Houck and all the other organizers and people involved.


For a full overview of the Conference, head over to MedCrunch and see their Health 2.0 Conference Review, or check out this summary article in Health 2.o News.

The next Conference will be Health 2.0 Middle East on January 27-28, 2013 in Dubai.

Topics will include: Diabetes 2.0 – What’s in your big pocket (tablets) – GeoMedicine – Medical Tourism 2.0 – Health 2.0 and Arab Social Media – Pharma 2.0 – Health 2.0 for Payers – EHR/PHR – Personal Trackers

To follow the projects we mentioned, you can find them on Twitter:

@UniversalDoctor | @Health2eu | @pascal_lardier | @boltyboy | @iwgc | @Medting |

@khresmoi | @SXTHealthCIC | @MedCrunch

Health 2.0 Europe 2012 in Berlin

We are very pleased to announce that UniversalDoctor will participate in the Health 2.0 Europe 2012 in Berlin.

It’s about a new generation of entrepreneurs believing they can be the change they want to see in their health systems.

Taking place at the Langenbeck Virchow Haus in Berlin on November 6-7, the event will reconvene the key Health 2.0 stakeholders in Europe: health entrepreneurs, IT solution providers, health professionals, patient organizations, health authorities, public and private insurance organizations, medical devices and pharmaceutical companies, telecom groups, VC and financiers, policy makers, academics…

We are pretty sure that we will meet again interesting people in Berlin.

Health 2.0 Europe en Berlin

Hace unos días tuvieron lugar las segundas jornadas sobre  “Health 2.0 Europe”  en Berlin.

En estas jornadas asistieron muchas personas que lideran o coordinan proyectos muy interesantes sobre la salud y el uso de internet. El Dr.Frederic Llordachs,  emprendedor médico presentó la nueva cara de Doctoralia, un gran portal que permite encontrar, contactar y reservar servicios médicos.

Nos parece interesante su post sobre las jornadas que publicó en su blog y con su permiso os facilitamos un resumen:

Las jornadas …… en Berlin , unas jornadas destinadas a presentar iniciativas mayoritariamente empresariales en salud, que emplean tecnología, aunque es condición indispensable el uso de internet.

Berlín es una bella ciudad, que ha logrado algo increíble: eliminar una fractura histórica. En mi camino al evento, pasando por Invalidstrasse, se me hacía impensable que cruzara por donde el muro había dividido entre el 13 de agosto de 1961 y el 9 de noviembre de 1989. Incluso me cruzaba con una lápida que conmemora la muerte de Günter Litfin, la primera víctima mortal a tiros en la frontera de Berlín.

El muro era una barrera ideológica hecha física. También en cuestiones de salud, innovación y tecnologías de la información y comunicación existe una fractura ideológica: Por un lado existe una visión colaborativa, basada en unos cuantos puntos pero no en todos los del Cluetrain Manifesto en la definición de los individuos, pero que no tiene en cuenta que todo (aunque parezca que no), todo en la vida tiene un coste, si no en dinero, en tiempo. Esta concepción wikipédica, que pretende mirar hacia el horizonte sin más, basada en buenas intenciones pero sin preocuparse por el futuro, choca ideológicamente con el sentido empresarial que ante todo valora la autosostenibilidad de los proyectos, una visión que valora el éxito en función de la aceptación por un mercado, más orientada al cliente que al usuario, que es quien debe hacerla sostenible.

El debate ideológico con otro asistente, colega en este tipo de “misiones comerciales”, el gran Jorge Juan Fernandez, el hombre del hospital líquido (EL caso de éxito, un ejemplo local a nivel internacional), era sobre el enfoque del congreso. Este era un congreso para ver proyectos consolidados, en marcha y con éxito de usuarios, que repercutía

Volviendo al show, las estrellas del evento fueron Orca Health, fabricantes de apps, que en la sesión Launch! ganaron una votación a mano alzada por sus apps explicativos ya presentes en iTunes. Aprovechar el camino del mercado es el mejor camino hacia el éxito. En este caso, el canal cuenta y mucho, y por eso fueron ampliamente reconocidos. También causó sensación los suecos de iDoc24, un servicio de orientación diagnóstica en dermatología, que no de diagnóstico, a través del móvil, y DrEd, que permite la receta electrónica en un entorno como el inglés (aunque parezca mentira, menos intervenido públicamente en este aspecto). A mi personalmente me gustaron por lo implementables Clinithink, un servicio capaz de codificar semiautomáticamente a partir de texto plano (la típica batalla perdida en la clásica guerra del hospital sin papeles), y Trialreach, que pone realmente a disposición de los investigadores pacientes y viceversa, y también Videum, proyecto de subtitulación del videostreaming (lo que hacen en las charlas TED) con muchísimo campo por delante, que la todopoderosa agencia Publicis ha desarrollado.  Pero el gran triunfador fue American Well, que participaba como esponsor y tuvo una presentación impresionante. Su CEO, Roy Schoenberg, habló del proyecto, que ya está más allá de visiones: una aplicación práctica de la telemedicina a lo largo y ancho de los Estados Unidos, un concepto que Obama mencionó en su Discurso del Estado de la Nación. Es una realidad de presente y futuro, una implementación tecnológicamente muy avanzada y que quema mucho dinero en innovación (¡la cabina de telemedicina, el regreso del concepto!), pero también lo produce. El mejor ejemplo de lo que debería ser esto de emprender en salud: una apuesta de riesgo, pero llena de oportunidades (que no siempre los grandes “dispensadores de salud” -aseguradoras públicas o privadas, cadenas hospitalarias, laboratorios, etc- o incluso los mismos agentes indivuduales, saben, quieren o pueden entender). La crisis, al menos, ¿servirá para que los de siempre intenten cosas nuevas?

Dr.Frederic Llordachs “

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