Introducing Mobile Device for Health Services: The Semantics of Language Translation

Introducing Mobile Device for Health Services: The Semantics of Language Translation

Phathutshedzo Nemutanzhela (Namibia University of Technology, Namibia) and Tiko Iyamu (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9446-0.ch007


On one hand, healthcare has taken the centre stage of attention in recent years, due to many more activities of both natural and manmade. On another hand, the use of mobile technologies is increasingly growing across the world, particularly in developing countries. Mobile devices, including phones and computers are becoming significant ICT tools for many activities and process of healthcare service delivery in both urban and rural areas, by organisations and individuals, literates and educated. Also, both businesses (organisations) and individuals are involved in the delivering and accessibility (recipient) of healthcare services at different levels and locations. The nature of the diverse tribes and languages within some developing countries make it difficult to deliver or receive the services which are provided by some Healthcare organisations. This is so because particular language, such as English, as in the case of South Africa, is often used for communication. Even though majority of the citizens make use of Mobile devices (such as cellular phones), the media of communication exchange is English language. Due to the sensitivity, confidentiality, and private nature of healthcare information and services, a one-on-one and the use of language which the patient is comfortable with is critical. Otherwise, the services and objectives of the healthcare organisations continue to be challenged. As such, there is need to address the semantics of language through the use of electronic devices for healthcare services.
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2. Literature Review

The need and use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has increased rapidly in recent years. It is difficult to find an area of businesses, organisations included, or individual life that doesn’t imbibe the service of ICT, in respective of the perspective. Rouse (2005) argued that ICT is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, which encompasses different technologies, such as radio, television, cellular phones, and computer network, hardware, software, satellite systems and medical technologies for healthcare services.

Healthcare focuses on diagnosis, such as treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans, which relies on technologies. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers. It refers to the work done in providing primary care, secondary care and tertiary care, as well as in public health (WHO, 2012).

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