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Why U.S. Medical Schools Urgently Need Text-to-Speech

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Text-to-Speech software is currently revolutionizing the medical industry (See #4 on our blog about the Top 5 Everyday Uses of Text-to-Speech Technology). Over the past few decades, specialized devices have been made that allow doctors to better perform patient care, such as heart rate monitors and dialysis machines.

But in the past decade, TTS has given these devices a voice, which has greatly improved their usefulness. This is especially the case for someone with a disability. For example, a blind person has the power to check their own blood glucose level at home, all thanks to a blood glucose meter with built in TTS capabilities that allow the device to recite the results to the user. Devices today are utilizing TTS technology.

Now, it has become clear that TTS can greatly benefit the health care industry in another way. Medical schools are now being pushed to better accommodate students with disabilities, and making sure they get the education they need. This is where TTS comes in.

Study: Most U.S. Medical Schools Do Not Accommodate Students with Disabilities

A study published in the Journal of Academic Medicine has concluded that most U.S. medical schools are not doing enough to support students with disabilities as intended by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The infographic below shows some of the results of the study:

Med School blog infographic

Medical schools are legally required to provide reasonable accommodations, and the researchers concluded that not enough is currently being done.

Why Is It Important To Accommodate Students with Disabilities?

In addition to the obvious answer that all students with disabilities should have accommodations that provide an equal opportunity, there is actually a need in the U.S. for more health care professionals with disabilities.

Studies have shown that patient care outcomes are improved when there’s more representation and diversity among health care professionals. People also tend to like doctors who have similar disabilities as they do. An example of this would be a person with a hearing disability being treated by a doctor with a similar disability and who has endured similar experiences in life.

20% of the American population has a disability, while 3.2% of Americans aged 18-24 have a disability. However, less than 1% of medical students have a disability. This underrepresentation of people with disabilities is a problem because as stated earlier, diversity among health care professionals can improve patient care outcomes.

Applications of TTS in Medical Schools

TTS for eLearning

We already discussed how TTS is revolutionizing the medical industry, but can it have the same impact on medical schools? The answer is yes. It happens in a similar way that medical devices use TTS technology to help people with disabilities. TTS technology can help improve the learning experience of students with disabilities.

Multiple customers of NeoSpeech use our products and service to push the boundaries of eLearning. This has given students with disabilities access to information that would have been difficult for them to obtain before. Examples include E-readers that have made it possible for students to hear any and all information a book has to offer. This can be done with an electronic book or even an application that scans text and reads it to the user. TTS technology has also been used for training simulations, such as an application or device that virtually trains a student on open heart surgery!

What Do You Think?

Do you agree that there is a need for more representation of people with disabilities among health care professionals? Do you have any experience with TTS in an eLearning or medical capacity and do you have any thoughts on it? Let us know in the comments or send us an email at marketing@neospeech.com.

Learn More about Text-to-Speech

To learn more about the different areas in which Text-to-Speech technology can be used, visit our Text-to-Speech Areas of Application page. And to learn more about the products we offer, visit our Text-to-Speech Products page.

If you’re interested in adding Text-to-Speech software to your application or would like to learn more about TTS, please fill out our Sales Inquiry form and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help.

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