ESİM is an application developed for persons with hearing impairment to benefit from health services without communication barriers. Citizens can create records for emergency situations and request hospital appointments free of charge on Esim mobile applications from their smart devices. In addition, disabled citizens can receive instant support from expert medical personnel who know sign language by video call.
Citizens with hearing impairment face various communication barriers in regards of accessing health services. Even in emergency situations where seconds are of great importance, they are unable to communicate with services such as 911/112 due to their disabilities. Therefore, there are problems in accessing on-site health services.
The ESIM application has been developed based on the idea of how these problems can be improved or eliminated. Its main purpose is to effectively eliminate the communication barriers that citizens with hearing impairment are exposed to in all kinds of health needs, including emergencies, by using technology. ESIM allows all disabled citizens to access the services in the application without paying any fee. Citizens can receive support 24/7 for all their health needs, including emergency situations, and hospital appointment requests. In addition, patient-doctor communication can also be provided through the application using sign language communication for the effective care of patients.
The ESIM System has provided support to more than 13 thousand disabled citizens in more than 60 thousand cases since 2018. In addition, the system has been carefully developed in such a way that it can serve thousands of citizens at the same time without server overload by taking advantage of Peer-to-Peer video calling technologies. During the development process of the project, attempts were made to improve it on a group of hearing-impaired individuals. In order to increase the benefit of the application, consultations were held with non-profit associations that monitor the rights of hearing-impaired people. At the design stage of the application, universal user interface principles have been taken into account. The designs of these mobile applications are designed in away so that disabled citizens of all ages can easily use them.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
Emergency call centers traditionally serve only with voice support over the phone. This system makes it almost impossible for people with hearing impairment to get services in emergency situations. It is important for disabled citizens to be able to communicate effectively not only in emergency situations but also when receiving clinical services. As disabled citizens cannot transfer their complaints to the medical staff correctly with traditional methods, the quality of the health service they receive decreases. This negatively affects the effectiveness of treatment. The traditional practices in question are insufficient to solve the problems. The ESIM project offers an effective and innovative solution to these problems by using technology.
What is the current status of your innovation?
Since the launch of the ESIM Application, there has been an average annual user growth of 42%. As of now, in order to spread the use of the system, efforts are being intensified to inform medical personnel and to make promotions in medical institutions. In addition, applications are constantly being improved according to feedback from users and developing technology.
Collaborations & Partnerships
During the development process of the project consultations have been held with :
- government agencies,
- private health institutions,
- non-profit associations established for the hearing impaired.
In addition, joint efforts have been made with the digital communities (Facebook & Whatsapp Groups) that disabled citizens are members of to promote the project and to address the audience appropriate to its purpose.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Among them are citizens with hearing impairment, health professionals, specialist health operators who know sign language, public hospitals, and private health institutions. In line with the common goals, workshops were held with the mentioned institutions during the application development phase. These studies have directly contributed to increasing the level of awareness of the rights of disabled citizens among institutions. It has also improved inter-institutional coordination.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The ESIM System has provided support to more than 13 thousand disabled citizens in more than 60 thousand cases since 2018. Thanks to the advantages provided by the system, more qualified health services have been provided in thousands of cases. Within the framework of the social state understanding in Turkey, access to health is seen as a fundamental right. In line with this understanding, it is aimed for our disabled citizens to benefit from the rights and privileges that everyone has. It has been seen that success has been achieved in the application according to the system data.
Challenges and Failures
The application requires internet access to use video calls and instant messaging services. This situation has been observed to make communication difficult for the doctors who will provide services, especially in the departments located on the underground floors of large health facilities and where the Internet access signal is insufficient.
Conditions for Success
In order for the application to continue its success, it is necessary to keep up to date with the developing technology and to make the use easier and more effective every day. In addition, in order to increase the spread of the application, it is necessary to increase the promotions made for disabled citizens.
The application has set an important success example for hearing impaired citizens in terms of communication with the institutions they need. Inspired by the innovation of the application, projects have been implemented with similar technology in areas other than health.
According to the data of the application, it has been observed that the use of smart devices is quite common among citizens and that their adaptations are at a high level. In addition, it has been understood that the new generation channels such as social media are very effective in reaching a group that can be considered as a minority in society.
- Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways
16 November 2023