As CEO of Boostlingo, we are constantly monitoring how the industry is changing and listening to how Language Service Companies use our interpretation technology.
One of the major changes we’ve been tracking is the growing popularity and accessibility of Video Remote Interpreting (VRI). Although VRI has existed since the 1990s, the rise of mobile communication in the late 2000s has allowed this “new” interpretation method to take off.
Video calls are now possible without downloading expensive software, which opens up a new world for interpreting.
With Video Remote Interpreting, clients can virtually connect face-to-face with an interpreter in minutes. However, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that VRI became vital to how people communicate across language barriers. The industry shifted to meet the demand for virtual care and online communication created during the pandemic, resulting in improved technologies and increased adoption of Video Remote Interpreting Services.
In this article, we break down three trends shaping Video Remote Interpreting in our post-pandemic world.
Trend 1. Increasing confidence in virtual care and online communication
Before the pandemic, Video Remote Interpreting was mostly used in hospitals and emergency rooms. Video Remote Interpretation improved the experience for Deaf and limited English proficiency (LEP) patients who no longer had to wait for an onsite healthcare interpreter. However, its widespread adoption faced resistance due to subpar technology, privacy, security, and cost factors.
When the pandemic made virtual care and online communication a necessity, Video Remote Interpreting services in healthcare started to gain traction via telehealth. Healthcare professionals began encouraging patients to plan virtual sessions and Video Remote Interpretation uses increased by 50%.
And, as 83% of patients expect to continue using telehealth services after the pandemic ends, the market will only expand.
In the legal area, VRI adoption has been sluggish. While Video Remote Interpretation services were used in over 50% of hearings that needed an interpreter in Florida in 2019, it was not the standard across the country. However, the pandemic prompted courtrooms across the country to close, and they still needed a mechanism to ensure they could deliver justice. As a result, judges, lawyers, and other legal professionals began to use virtual communications. With virtual hearings being more efficient in some cases, VRI in the courtroom is likely to continue growing.
We host a number of different webinars that cover legal and court topics in response to this growing need.
Trend 2. Improving technology and integrations for Video Remote Interpretation
It’s no secret that the pandemic brought global business travel to a halt.
Suddenly, corporate meetings and events went from in-person to online, and Zoom became the new normal. However, traditional video conference platforms offered an imperfect solution when it came to interpreting.
To meet the need for interpreting services, VRI platforms such as Boostlingo made it possible to integrate with Zoom, Webex, and other video conference platforms. In fact, Boostlingo was the first platform to integrate with both Zoom and Webex.
The result? Companies discovered that many types of meetings can be conducted just as effectively online.
As video, audio, and interpretation platform technologies improve, and integrations are made between them, Video Remote Interpretation will become more accessible.
However, users will have to contend with difficulties created by using new technology. They will have to train staff to use this technology and have the necessary hardware and bandwidth to support it.
As VRI continues to make its way into corporate spaces, we’ve had to adjust to training new users who are less familiar with interpreting solutions. Our Account Management team here at Boostlingo prioritizes this training when working with clients and ensures that they are prepared for success, whatever their business need are.
Trend 3. The rate of VRI Interpretation uptake is growing faster than OPI Interpretation
When comparing Video Remote Interpreting to Over the Phone Interpreting (OPI), VRI is used less.
However, it’s notable that the rate of VRI uptake is increasing more rapidly than OPI. Because clients can see and interact with interpreters through video, it achieves a similar experience to onsite interpreting without the expense and wait time.
During the pandemic, Video Remote Interpreting became essential within the Deaf community and has since seen widespread ASL adoption. We recently hosted a conversation with ASL interpreter Robin Byers, who described her experience with virtual appointments:
“I am very happy that the Deaf community has become more accepting of virtual assignments. Because the Deaf community was faced with poor connectivity and inappropriate equipment. Often the sign language, or you know, signs going through any type of virtual meeting were just unacceptable. I understand a few people having a bad experience was just enough for the ripples to go out where nobody really wanted to use virtual because of it. Bad news travels fast. So it was very good. I said that that’s another positive about the pandemic is that [virtual appointments] have been forced.”
– Robin Byers, ASL Interpreter
The benefit of face-to-face connection and improvements in video communication technologies are likely pushing VRI’s faster uptake, as more use cases can be more easily and better addressed.
We are proud to offer cutting-edge Video Remote Interpreting technology that services a number of different industries through the Boostlingo platform.
At Boost, we believe, VRI is helping shape the future of interpreting. That is why we are constantly working to develop our platform to better serve our clients. We’ve adapted to meet the evolving needs of the interpreting profession, from healthcare and legal to Zoom integrations.
The Boostlingo platform is also quick and simple to use. All you need is a high-speed internet connection and a webcam-equipped PC, tablet, or smartphone.