GeaCom selects Sierra Wireless to connect multilingual medical communication device to electronic health records

Innovative device with Sierra Wireless AirPrime™ embedded wireless module helps caregivers communicate with patients over language, cultural, and literacy barriers
Vancouver, Canada and Duluth, MN-June 07, 2011

Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR) (TSX: SW) and GeaCom, Inc. today announced that GeaCom has selected a Sierra Wireless AirPrime™ embedded wireless module to provide the 3G wireless connection for GeaCom’s handheld multilingual medical communication system, called Phrazer®. The first system of its kind in the world, Phrazer is a handheld touchscreen device that helps patients and caregivers overcome differences in language, culture, or literacy to exchange critical medical information. With the integrated AirPrime MC8355 embedded wireless module, the Phrazer device can instantly access and update patient information within an electronic health records (EHR) system, even at an accident site or while in transit to hospital, using a cellular data network.

Phrazer addresses key elements of patient-centered care by facilitating communication and understanding between patients and caregivers. Communication barriers often result in errors in medication and treatment, misdiagnoses, and caregiver mistakes that can cause the patient serious harm or even death. According to a 2003 study, an average of 31 interpreter errors occur per encounter with patients who have limited English proficiency.  Of those errors, 63% result in clinical consequences.1 

“Caregivers struggle to provide high quality healthcare to non-English speaking patients. Phrazer will help eliminate communication barriers, thereby improving efficiency and accuracy while reducing costs,” said Chris Butler, the Chief Operating Officer of GeaCom, Inc. “Having the ability to integrate wireless communications through Sierra Wireless technology is critical to Phrazer’s success. The integrated wireless link allows us to provide better, more accurate information to caregivers using Phrazer, ultimately resulting in better patient care.”

Phrazer identifies what language a patient speaks and then collects his/her information, medical history, symptoms and complaints. This is performed using interactive, prerecorded videos of a culturally familiar doctor speaking the patient’s preferred language. The patient-entered information is then summarized into the caregiver’s language and can be accessed on the device or through the facility’s EHR system. 

“Phrazer is an innovative example of how wireless connections can be used to enhance healthcare with anytime, anywhere access to patient records and system information,” said Didier Dutronc, Senior Vice President, M2M Embedded Solutions for Sierra Wireless. “Integrating wireless into a healthcare device requires high trust in the wireless module provider and the quality of its products and service, so we are proud that GeaCom selected Sierra Wireless to collaborate on this project.”

GeaCom will launch Phrazer during the third quarter of this year and is initially targeting hospitals, clinics, and urgent care centers at the point of admissions. The company also plans to quickly expand into emergency rooms, other medical specialties and first response vehicles. 

For more information about Sierra Wireless AirPrime embedded wireless modules, please visit To learn more about how Sierra Wireless can support mobile healthcare applications, please visit or visit the Sierra Wireless booth (P5) at the GSMA-mHealth Alliance Mobile Health Summit, being held through June 9 in Cape Town, South Africa.

To contact the Sierra Wireless Sales Desk, call +1 (604) 232-1488 or email [email protected].

1 Flores, Glenn, M. Barton Laws, Sandra J. Mayo, Barry Zuckerman, Milagros Abreu, Leonardo Medina and Eric J. Hardt. “Errors in Medical Interpretation and Their Potential Clinical Consequences in Pediatric Encounters,” Pediatrics. 2003.

About GeaCom, Inc.
GeaCom, Inc. was founded in 2007 to develop and manufacture the Phrazer system. A company based in Duluth, MN, GeaCom is dedicated to reducing communication barriers and increasing access to quality healthcare through the development of innovative technology. For more information about GeaCom and Phrazer, please visit

About Sierra Wireless
Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR) (TSX: SW) offers industry-leading mobile computing and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications products and solutions that connect people, devices, and applications over cellular networks. Wireless service providers, equipment manufacturers, enterprises and government organizations around the world depend on us for reliable wireless technology. We offer 2G, 3G and 4G wireless modems, routers and gateways as well as a comprehensive suite of software, tools, and services that ensure our customers can successfully bring wireless applications to market.  For more information about Sierra Wireless, visit

“AirPrime” is a trademark of Sierra Wireless. Other product or service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, plans and timing for the introduction or enhancement of our services and products, statements about future market conditions, supply conditions, channel and end customer demand conditions, revenues, gross margins, operating expenses, profits, and other expectations, intentions, and plans contained in this press release that are not historical fact. Our expectations regarding future revenues and earnings depend in part upon our ability to successfully develop, manufacture, and supply products that we do not produce today and that meet defined specifications. When used in this press release, the words "plan", "expect", "believe", and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current expectations. They are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, changes in technology and changes in the wireless data communications market. In light of the many risks and uncertainties surrounding the wireless data communications market, you should understand that we cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will be realized.