Hospital Talk 4+

Shamus Smith

Designed for iPad

    • Free



Hospital Talk TM is an app to help hospital patients with communication difficulties to get their message across to staff and carers. It is based on the doctoral research of Dr Bronwyn Hemsley on hospital care and communication for patients with severe communication impairment. Hospital Talk is an Augmentative and Alternative Communication app as it turns an iPhone into a talking communication aid for use in hospital and long-term residential care.

Hospital Talk has large buttons with pictures on three pages that have pre-recorded messages about care in hospital. Pre-recorded statements are provided with both female and male voices. The three talking pages enable people to communicate: basic care needs (Basic Needs), information needs (Info Needs), and social closeness (Social Needs). The Basic Needs page helps people to convey “yes” “no" "hunger or thirst” “comfort” “pain" and “bathroom”. The Info Needs page enables people to ask questions about care, test results, going home, and seeing the doctor. The Social Needs page is good for having a chat, talking about feelings, and asking to talk to a caregiver. For example, using Hospital Talk, a patient can say “yes”, “no”, “what are my test results?” “I need some more information” “thank you” “how’s your day?” or “I’m feeling a bit stressed.”

You can also use the Hospital Talk app to record your own or another person’s voice for your own messages. You then attach these to the buttons on the Social Needs page. These personal or custom-made messages can be updated as often as needed and only take a few seconds to record and save. If the user wants to return to the synthesised speech male or female voices, the app resets to the default pictures and pre-set messages on the Social Needs.

Follow at @HospitalTalkApp and email for further information about the research.

Credits: Hospital Talk App was designed and developed by Shamus Smith (University of Newcastle [UON]) in collaboration with @BronwynHemsley (University of Technology Sydney [UTS]). Content is based on the doctoral research of Dr. Hemsley funded by NHMRC, Australia (Grant #358844). Graphics by Game Art Guppy ( and Icons8 ( Hospital bed graphic [qubodup ( | license CCBY3+ (]. Voice samples from

Acknowledgements: The authors thank and acknowledge all of the family carers, adults with communication disability, and paid carers taking part in the original research; and Professor Susan Balandin and Professor Leanne Togher, Dr Hemsley’s doctoral research advisers.

What’s New

Version 1.4

This app has been updated by Apple to display the Apple Watch app icon.

Universal update for iPad (but better on iPhone).

App Privacy

The developer, Shamus Smith, has not provided details about its privacy practices and handling of data to Apple.

No Details Provided

The developer will be required to provide privacy details when they submit their next app update.

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