Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to have an internet connection to use MediBabble?
A: No. Once you've downloaded MediBabble and the languages you plan to use, there is no need to be online. MediBabble is fully functional in resource poor areas without internet connectivity, as well as in commonly shielded environments, such as hospitals, emergency rooms and radiology suites.
Q: How will I understand my patient's responses?
A: All of the questions in MediBabble are either yes/no questions, require gestural responses (e.g. pointing or holding up a number of fingers to quantify pain severity), or rely on your device as an input method (e.g. scrolling to a date to indicate last menstrual period or date of birth).
Q: I'm concerned about my patients' safety. Are these translations computer-generated? How can I be sure that my patients are hearing the same phrases that I'm selecting?
A: Patient safety is topmost among our concerns and is the reason we created MediBabble in the first place. All of the phrases included in MediBabble were written and reviewed by a panel of physicians, translated from English by professional medical translators, and then vetted and recorded by hospital-based medical interpreters. Every single phrase in our database has been closely reviewed by at least two medically-trained native speakers for accuracy, cultural appropriateness, and accessibility to patients of varying levels of education and health literacy.
Q: How do I switch to other languages?
A: In order to minimize your download time, MediBabble comes with only Spanish preinstalled. Additional languages can be downloaded free of charge from the Language Selection screen. The Language Selection screen can be accessed by tapping the black Language Bar at the bottom of the home screen. Once additional languages have been downloaded, you can switch between them by simply tapping on them in the Language Selection screen. Currently available languages besides Spanish include Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Russian and Haitian Creole.
Q: Can I still use MediBabble if my patient is hearing-impaired?
A: Absolutely! MediBabble uses landscape mode on your Apple device to display a translated, large-text version of your selected question. Simply turn your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad on its side and let your patient read your question. Alternatively, for hard-of-hearing patients, many of our colleagues have successfully used over-ear headphones to play MediBabble at louder volumes.
Q: If I've just taken a history from a patient, is there any way I can review the questions I asked?
A: Yup. The Recently Played section, accessible from the home screen, displays a list of up to the most recent 50 phrases you've used. This can be handy as a reminder of just what information you got from your patient. Also, these questions can be played again directly from the Recently Played section, in case you forgot an answer or need an updated response.
Q: There's a particular series of questions/instructions that I use with my patients frequently. Is there any way to save this list so that I can navigate these phrases more easily in the future?
A: Unfortunately, not yet. This is a feature we are actively developing for MediBabble 2.0. However, it turns out to be fairly complicated to implement from an engineering standpoint, so we chose to defer its inclusion rather than delay the launch of MediBabble any longer. But stay tuned, we hope to introduce a customization feature later this year.
Q: What if there is a question I would like to be able to ask my patients or a chief complaint that I would like to address that I can't find in MediBabble?
A: We recognize that MediBabble is a work in progress and welcome any suggestions for how we can improve its usefulness in your practice. Currently we're working on expanding our content to better address certain specialty areas (e.g. perioperative care, surgical practice, trauma evaluation, triage, pediatrics) and to improve the utility across a broader range of provider roles (e.g. nursing, EMS). If there are any other areas you'd like to see us expand into, please share your ideas with us!
Q: My patient demographics aren't currently supported by your list of languages. Are you planning to make additional languages available?
A: Yes! We're currently working on translations of French, Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, and German. And we hope to create further modules in Arabic, Farsi, and Japanese, to list a few. As you might imagine, it takes considerable time and money to ensure the quality, accuracy and cultural appropriateness of each language module we add, but we are hard at work. If you have a particular language (or languages) that you would like to have us translate, please let us know.
Q: I found a bug. How do I let you guys know?
A: Oops. Although we've worked through dozens of iterations of our software to try to ensure an excellent user experience, we acknowledge that MediBabble is a work in progress. If you've uncovered an error, we want to hear about it. Send us a detailed email. Thanks for letting us know! We'll get right on it.
Q: I think what you guys are doing is great! How can I get involved?
A: Thanks! There are lots of ways you can help out. 1) Send us your ideas for content or features you think we should include; 2) If you are a fluent speaker of another language you can help us translate MediBabble; 3) Partner with us to evaluate and validate MediBabble as a clinical tool in the care of the medically underserved; 4) Tell your colleagues about MediBabble! And we're open to other ideas as well. If you'd like to help out, drop us a line.
Q: This seems like a pretty huge can you afford to give it away for free??
A: MediBabble has truly been a labor of love for our small team of five. We have all given up thousands of hours of time and significant financial resources over the past 3 years to make MediBabble a reality. However, we think it is an important enough tool that it should be freely available to everyone who cares for patients across a language divide. That said, continued user support, software engineering, expanding our content and translating it into additional languages is expensive. If you use MediBabble, we ask that you make a small contribution to its ongoing development. We have a PayPal page that accepts all major credit cards that you can access here: DONATE. Thanks in advance for your support!