GuildLink Text-to-Speech Translation Case Study

How GuildLink Uses Text-to-Speech Translation to Make Consumer Medicines Information More Accessible

“Appen’s text-to-speech conversion has been pivotal in helping us provide more information in more ways and helping patients understand what they’re taking.” — Anna Paonne, Key Account and Business Development Manager, GuildLink

The Situation

It’s critical for patients to understand what medicine they’re taking and how to take it. Every prescription medication in Australia requires an accompanying Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) leaflet, describing what the medicine does, how to take it, and possible side effects. The trouble with the leaflets is that the information on them changes frequently, and it’s difficult to get updated information to consumers.

GuildLink, the pre-eminent provider of up-to-date medical information for consumers and health providers, solves this problem by storing, managing, and distributing CMIs electronically. They recognized the need for audio CMIs to meet the needs of consumers who can’t use the printed information for a variety of reasons—including impaired vision, a non-English-speaking background, and learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

The Solution

GuildLink partnered with Appen to convert Consumer Medicines Information text quickly and accurately into high-quality audio output.

The process:

  • Appen created a custom lexicon (dictionary) of spoken words, tailored to GuildLink’s product
  • Text file processing, to ensure accuracy
  • Audio processing, including the creation of a custom script that breaks up the text into smaller lengths and feeds them to a text-to-speech (TTS) engine
  • The TTS engine created a concatenated audio output, joining pre-recorded pieces of audio together to make whole words and phrases
  • Finally, Appen converted the output into an MP3 format and sends the files back to GuildLink for posting and distribution
  • As new medicines, CMIs, or languages are added, Appen updates the lexicon and conducts further text and audio processing

The Benefits

Thanks to the Appen text-to-speech engine, GuildLink was the first company in the world to provide audio Consumer Medicines Information and is still one of the only companies doing so. This pioneering service has led to partnerships with several Australian government-sponsored websites. 

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