Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health Awards HYKIST Project to AppTek to Equip Critical Care with Artificial Intelligence-Driven Automatic Speech Translation Technology

Speech technology leader’s platform will facilitate multilingual communication to and from the German language in hospitals and emergency rooms throughout Germany

MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ASR–AppTek, a leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Neural Machine Translation (NMT), and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technologies, today announced it has been selected by the German Federal Ministry of Health for the Ministry’s HYKIST project. This new effort will assist language mediators who work remotely with hospitals and emergency rooms throughout Germany, facilitating multilingual communication through utilizing automatic speech recognition and neural machine translation. By helping speech translation with communication to and from German, the project is designed to help healthcare providers improve critical care delivery for non-native speakers.

“Language barriers remain a significant hurdle when it comes to effective medical care worldwide. Unfortunately there are not enough interpreters available to address even basic medical requirements across a variety of languages and dialects,” said Dr. Volker Steinbiss, Managing Director of AppTek GmbH. “Especially in 2020 with the global pandemic, we have seen firsthand the importance of accurate communication in healthcare. AppTek is honored to provide our automatic speech translation capability to deliver real-world change that benefits the global healthcare community.”

The HYKIST project is an artificial intelligence-based, real-time automatic speech interpreting and translation system designed for language mediators to have more effective healthcare communications with non-German speaking patients. Currently, there are 20.8 million immigrants living in Germany, and up to 30 percent have only low-level German language skills. A lack of or incorrect communication in medical care leads to underuse and misuse of medical services, lower quality of care, an increased rate of treatment errors, ineffective preventive measures for patients and dissatisfaction among medical staff.

Through HYKIST, ASR and NMT will be combined with a dialog system for capturing initial medical history, and integrated into the Triaphon telecommunication platform already being used to assign language mediators to urgent phone conversations with medical staff in real time. The project involves Triaphon, a non-profit organization with a mission to improve urgent medical care for patients with language barriers, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization, and RWTH Aachen University, the largest technical university in Germany.

The HYKIST project will enhance existing AI-enabled automatic speech translation language models to meet the robust requirements of the medical domain, thereby enabling accurate communication between German healthcare providers and critical care patients. Ultimately, the goal is to facilitate doctor-patient communication for an ever-increasing variety of languages, so that no patients are left behind.

For more information on this selection, visit

About AppTek

AppTek is a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies for automatic speech recognition (ASR), neural machine translation (NMT), and natural language understanding (NLU). The AppTek platform delivers industry-leading, real-time streaming and batch technology solutions in the cloud or on-premise for organizations across a breadth of worldwide markets such as media and entertainment, call centers, government, enterprise business, and more. Built by scientists and research engineers who are recognized among the best in the world, AppTek’s solutions cover a wide array of languages, dialects, and channels. For more information, please visit


Joyson Cherian

W2 Communications