Allina Health adds mobile app to help deaf and hard of hearing patients better communicate

MINNEAPOLIS (April 7, 2023) —Allina Health is proud to be one of the first health systems to offer the InnoCaption app, a new option for our deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) patients who may not be able to use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate with hearing persons.

Allina Health will provide patients with an iPad with the app installed that allows them to communicate with others not in the hospital. Users can easily make and receive captioned calls through the InnoCaption mobile app. The app allows callers to start with speech recognition but can switch mid-call to a live stenographer option if there are accuracy issues with the text they receive.

“We know there are times our deaf and hard-of-hearing patients may not have family or friends with them in the hospital that they need to communicate with. This tool allows them to have a conversation with someone in another location,” said Irina Williams, Director of Operations Support for Allina Health Interpreter Services.

InnoCaption is the only FCC-certified caption phone service to offer real-time captioning of incoming and outgoing calls on tablets or smartphones through stenographers. InnoCaption also provides the option for captioning through automated speech recognition (ASR) technology when users prefer not to have a live assistant during calls. This captioning service is federally funded and provided free-of-charge to people whose hearing loss makes it difficult to understand phone calls.

InnoCaption is now available at all Allina Health hospitals including Abbott Northwestern Hospital, United Hospital, United Hospital – Hastings Regina Campus, Mercy Hospital, Mercy Hospital – Unity Campus, Cambridge Medical Center, Buffalo Hospital, St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Allina Health Faribault Medical Center, Owatonna Hospital, and New Ulm Medical Center.

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A nonprofit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospital campuses, 14 retail pharmacies, and many specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services. Learn more at and join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.