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Hospitals in Japan turn to high-tech to treat language barriers

Multilingual AI service among new offerings to help staff deal with foreigners

Fujitsu's wearable translation device. Multilingual products like this will help Japan treat foreign patients, especially those visiting small clinics and rural hospitals.

TOKYO -- As the number of foreign patients in Japan grows, companies are racing to develop multilingual products and services to help hospitals cope with the inevitable language barriers.

Medical startup ShareMedical plans to introduce a telephone interpretation service using artificial intelligence by the end of August. Fujitsu will follow with an interpretation terminal before March 2019, while NEC will roll out a multilingual receptionist kiosk in 2020.

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