ProLingua RX: Language communication tool for pharmacists (Phase II)

Period of Performance: 02/01/2007 - 01/31/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Polyglot Systems, Inc.
Morrisville, NC 27560
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): ProLingua RX: Language communication tool for pharmacists. Twenty million people in the United States are unable to speak an effective level of the English language to understand simple medicine instructions. This Limited English Proficient (LEP) population represents 1 of every 15 people in the United States. This population is expected to increase 40% over the next 20 years. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that medication errors account for about 7,000 deaths annually and costs approximately $2 billion for the nation as a whole. Medication errors were also found to account for over 700,000 injuries each year. Language barrier has been found to be a significant cause of some of these deaths and injuries. During Phase I we developed an innovative system for professional pharmacists to generate medicine instructions in a foreign language, provide these instructions to LEP patients in both written and verbal form, and demonstrate proper techniques for medication use. During Phase II we will expand upon this system by incorporating 6 foreign languages (Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Vietnamese, and Arabic), adding the top 300 prescriptions to our medicine database, creating 50 new medicine demonstrations, and developing a system to enable access to these instructions from any remote computer through the Internet. The goal of this Phase II grant application is to develop a commercial, technology-based, time-saving solution to help every pharmacist articulate and visually demonstrate medications instructions to their patients regardless of language barrier. This solution has the potential to significantly reduce medication errors and health disparity due to language barriers as well as low health literacy, while reducing cost of healthcare delivery in the United States.