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CommDoc: A language tool for health professionals working in Aboriginal communities

CommDoc is a language tool developed for GP Registrars and other health professionals working in communities across the Northern Territory, to culturally enhance interactions with Aboriginal patients.

A medical consultation app in 16 different Aboriginal languages

CommDoc provides audio translations of common terms in medical consultation in different Aboriginal languages spoken in the Northern Territory.

Translations of 16 Aboriginal languages are available including Yolngu Matha, EC Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara.

Aboriginal language app for health professionals

Medical terms and phrases are categorised into four major sections:

  1. Common terms: Essential terms used to greet and throughout consultation e.g.
    • Hello
    • What is your name?
    • Good/Bad
    • Yes/No

  2. History: Phrases commonly used to assess patient’s medical history e.g.
    • Do you have pain?
    • Have you been sick for a long time?
    • Does your body stay the same size or do you get fat then skinny then fat again, like that?

  3. Examination: Phrases commonly used in a consultation when examining a patient e.g.
    • Open your mouth
    • Take a deep breath
    • The doctor wants to take some blood for testing, is that ok?

  4. Body parts: Terms for common body parts eg head, abdomen, arm.
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Other features of CommDoc:

Capability to add languages

Languages can be added to the app by the client.

Free to download and use

CommDoc app is free to download and use with no ongoing subscription required.

App works offline

Once downloaded, the CommDoc app does not require an internet connection to be used so can be used in remote areas.

Available as web version

A web version of CommDoc is also available (requires internet connection). This is especially useful for those with desktop-only workplaces and access.

Developed in consultation with community and interpreters

Western medical phrases and questions have been translated in a culturally safe way. All work has been completed in consultation with clinics, communities, doctors, cultural educators and interpretive services.

CommDoc was developed by the Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE) in consultation with clinics, communities, doctors, cultural educators and interpretive services. CommDoc is being used by medical, health and community workers throughout the Northern Territory.

What health professionals are saying about CommDoc:

“Great and useful app! Very good does the job.”

“Great resource. Need more like it.”

“Easy and quick. This is the first time I've reviewed an app straight after installing, but this is really good. I wish there was a similar 'phrase book' type app that wasn't restricted to medical terms.”

“Best app. Should be funded Australia wide.”

“Invaluable. Echoing other comments: hopefully this can be expanded to general conversation and a broader group of languages! Someone fund this!!”


Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play
View the web version

Read more: Sarah Bock discusses developing a cultural language app for health workers in remote Australia

Visit the CommDoc website

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