Innovator Profile: Arinai Inc.

By February 7, 2018Innovators
Nadia and Mohamed of Arinai working on their computers at the Innovation Exchange

Names: Nadia Ashoori and Mohamed Ibrahim
Business: Arinai Inc.

1. What is your affiliation with the HHS/IBM Innovation Exchange?

With immigration on a rise, Canada is increasingly becoming a diverse linguistic landscape, as one out of five individuals in Canada is an immigrant. Additionally, the proportion of Canadians who speak English at home is declining. Now imagine trying to interact with healthcare services here in Canada while not being able to understand English? That’s where we come in.

Arinai is real-time medical interpretation service that democratizes communication and allows you to speak your mind. Arinai simplifies medical jargon, improves comprehension, ensures consent, and improves patient accessibility, all while providing an encounter transcript for provider accountability and patient empowerment. Arinai wants to improve the quality of care.

We are grateful to be associated with the Innovation Exchange. HHS allows for exposure to a healthcare setting and IBM provides us access to a collaborative working space and expert technical support so that we can focus on restoring independence to patients (irrespective of their native language of choice).

2. What’s the biggest challenge in healthcare that you’d like to tackle?

Imagine that your best friend cannot understand English well. They have unreasonable heart pain, but due to their language barrier decide not to call the ambulance or go to a walk-in clinic. Your beloved friend may have survived this occurrence, but this is not always the case.

Several people experience this everyday. Challenges include confirmation of consent, time consumed for the physician to book an available time for the translator and the unaffordable cost of human translation services. Arinai will allow all individuals to be self-sufficient in communicating their health issues, and for physicians to provide adequate care even when translators are unavailable.

3. What is the most rewarding part of the work that you do?

The most rewarding part of the work is knowing that one day the combination of medical jargon and multiple languages will not be a barrier when our family members and friends need healthcare.

4. Where do you look for inspiration to help fuel your ideas and energy at work?

Our inspiration to help fuel our ideas and energy at work comes from within the team. Each member of our group is very passionate about healthcare with years of experience in eHealth technology. Our team has a shared pain point of the existing problem, a common goal, and unique chemistry that molds us together. Additionally, all of the members on the team have different educational and career backgrounds; this allows each of us to bring a diverse and crucial addition towards the success of our solution.

With the same goal in mind, different backgrounds, and varied networks, we push each other to ignite our ideas based off of research and front line workers. We are a family who is compassionate about the goal of bringing independence to all individuals.

5. What’s the one thing that you think great innovators do differently?

Great innovators surround themselves with people who help them collectively reach a solution. They target a gap or prominent problem in the current workflow that would benefit from a better process while speaking directly to the needs of the consumer. Great innovators are not afraid of failing and are continuously willing to learn.

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