Video medical interpretation over 3G cellular networks: a feasibility study

Telemed J E Health. 2011 Dec;17(10):809-13. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2011.0084. Epub 2011 Oct 19.


Objective: To test the feasibility of using cell phone technology to provide video medical interpretation services at a distance.

Materials and methods: Alternative cell phone services were researched and videoconferencing technologies were tried out to identify video products and telecommunication services needed to meet video medical interpretation requirements. The video and telecommunication technologies were tried out in a pharmacy setting and compared with use of the telephone.

Results: Outcomes were similar to findings in previous research involving video medical interpretation with higher bandwidth and video quality. Patients appreciated the interpretation service no matter how it is provided, while health providers and interpreters preferred video.

Conclusion: It is possible to provide video medical interpretation services via cellular communication using lower bandwidth videoconferencing technology that provides sufficient quality, at least in pharmacy settings. However, a number of issues need to be addressed to ensure quality of service.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone / instrumentation*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Pharmacies
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration
  • South Carolina
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Telemedicine / instrumentation*
  • Telemedicine / methods
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration
  • Videoconferencing / organization & administration*