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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 4306416, 9 pages
Research Article

A Cross-Lingual Mobile Medical Communication System Prototype for Foreigners and Subjects with Speech, Hearing, and Mental Disabilities Based on Pictograms

1Department of Multimedia, Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology, Koszykowa 86, 02-008 Warsaw, Poland
2Department of Medical Informatics and Telemedicine, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Correspondence should be addressed to Krzysztof Wołk; lp.ude.ajp@klowk

Received 22 February 2017; Accepted 12 October 2017; Published 2 November 2017

Academic Editor: Lev Klebanov

Copyright © 2017 Krzysztof Wołk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


People with speech, hearing, or mental impairment require special communication assistance, especially for medical purposes. Automatic solutions for speech recognition and voice synthesis from text are poor fits for communication in the medical domain because they are dependent on error-prone statistical models. Systems dependent on manual text input are insufficient. Recently introduced systems for automatic sign language recognition are dependent on statistical models as well as on image and gesture quality. Such systems remain in early development and are based mostly on minimal hand gestures unsuitable for medical purposes. Furthermore, solutions that rely on the Internet cannot be used after disasters that require humanitarian aid. We propose a high-speed, intuitive, Internet-free, voice-free, and text-free tool suited for emergency medical communication. Our solution is a pictogram-based application that provides easy communication for individuals who have speech or hearing impairment or mental health issues that impair communication, as well as foreigners who do not speak the local language. It provides support and clarification in communication by using intuitive icons and interactive symbols that are easy to use on a mobile device. Such pictogram-based communication can be quite effective and ultimately make people’s lives happier, easier, and safer.