Heard this story on NPR about a translation service for hospitals - basically, when non-English-speaking patients go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms, they may have to wait hours and hours for an interpreter to be called in. It's a time-consuming, uncertain, and expensive way to get help to those who need it.
A company has developed a service where a video screen at the hospital links to a 24/7 nationwide service with 150 languages available - within minutes, the patient can speak in real-time to an interpreter, who can then translate to the health care provider.
The Language Access Network, Inc., based in Las Vegas, developed the system called "Martti" - "my accessible real-time trusted interpreter." To them I give a virtual sushi bouquet for coming up with such a great user-experience improvement that also reduces costs for the service providers.
I acknowledge that working through a video interpreter isn't the same as having one in the room with you, but this still sounds like a win-win-win situation given the current state of translation availability in hospitals.
Is it wrong of me to wish that there would be fewer dollars pumped into the development of video games and sonar fish finders, and more dollars dedicated to innovations like this?