January 19, 2004 at 5:04 PM CST - Updated June 25 at 10:41 PM
If you are hearing impaired, going to a doctor who doesn't know sign language can be tough. You'll need to read lips, write notes, or have an interpreter to communicate.
But now, some hospitals are offering a new option that makes communicating with your doctor a lot easier. A system called Deaf-Talk may decrease the waiting time from a few hours to a few minutes.
The device is placed on a rolling cart and moved to any room with a high-speed phone line. By using a special camera, an interpreter can see the patient signing and the patient can see the interpreter on the screen.
Many health officials who've used this device say their patients think it's really cool. So far, about 150 hospitals are using this system.
Hospitals say another benefit is cost. The cost of the equipment and the use of an interpreter is less than paying an interpreter to be on site during the entire visit.