The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of medical translation as a mostly overlooked albeit essential service in the world of life sciences and healthcare. Clinical trial translations in various languages led to the development of new vaccines in record breaking time around the world, saving millions of lives. The application of professional medical translation in an efficient way combined with the best technologies, professional linguists and associated services have been key to this success.

The benefits of professional medical and clinical trial translations

Professional medical and clinical trial translations play a vital role during clinical trials and later on in helping healthcare professionals provide necessary treatment to their patients speaking foreign languages. Clinical trials require information to be transported across various languages in the same way and with the same meaning in each and every language a trial is being conducted in. Regulatory information needs to be shared in a professional way so that products and devices can be released internationally. The initial phases information needs to be shared in the same way across all participating countries.

Additionally,doctors and pharmacists need translation to review medical histories of foreign patients so that they can provide accurate medication and therapy to their patients. Patients need to understand their health condition and treatment plan. Side effects and reasons for those need to be shared across all participating countries.

Lack of translation services or inaccurate translations can lead to loss of life. Therefore, having documents and other information translated accurately and timely is of utmost importance. Besides, most countries in the world require that the literature and labelling associated with medical devices and pharmaceuticals be translated into the national languages.

What do medical translation services constitute?

Broadly, medical translation is the practice of translating various documents such as training materials, medical bulletins, drug data sheets and similar documents for health care, medical devices, marketing or clinical, regulatory and technical documentation. The medical translation services ensure:

1. Translations follow medical regulations set by the life sciences and healthcare industry:

The regulations that need to be followed within the industry come with varying local needs and demand highest levels of accuracy for a wide range of documents. Managing all these varying needs, document versions and content types require a good service provider. The availability of language professionals and experts and knowledge of different terminologies in various languages depend on good translation and project management practices and the use of best-in-class technology by a translation provider.

2. ​ Access to relevant material for seamless translation management:

What a translation service provider normally cannot provide is the information on best practices followed by the client. These services are personalised to cater to these specific client needs. As a translation services provider or as a client you can define terminology, create style guides and embed those into the translation process based on stakeholder specifications.

3. Medical translations are performed through the localisation of the source and by professional language experts that understand and help to define the terminology, audience and culture prior to translating and editing your documents:

Medical translations are based on collaborative intelligence of technology-based solutions used to strengthen and augment human capabilities. For example, medical terminology is often specific to the source audience and country. Not everything can simply be translated but needs to be transliterated for use in target markets. To make it even more complex, medical language uses a lot of abbreviations and acronyms. A professional linguist must be able to interpret the source material and mitigate the possibility of software generated translation errors.

4. Comprehensive localisation of source content including cultural elements such as medicinal dosages and use of acronyms:

The localisation of source content is also expected to consider cultural aspects of the various possible target markets. Failure to comply to these standards can lead to offenses, affecting businesses globally.

5. Use of the right technologies to enable the most efficient delivery of medical translations inside the regulated world of clinical trials, medical devices and product developments:

Streamlined, and ideally automated, integrations across various platforms and systems can enable cost-effective delivery of translation services such as leveraging of legacy translations for reducing quality issues and inconsistencies.

6. Smooth delivery of your products and services to international markets:

You need to have a good globalisation strategy for delivering your products successfully to the international markets that you are targeting. Medical translation services can also help in delivery planning by providing solutions that are profitable in the global market. It helps the healthcare industry in determining the right strategy for business expansion, capacity planning, make right use of technology and expertise to minimise errors.

To learn more, please view these additional resources or contact us to speak with our experts.