The market for medicines, dietary supplements, medical equipment, and general health maintenance products has been global since day one: the medical problems and treatment needs of people across the world are nearly identical. The production of synthetic and biotechnological drugs represents a key segment of this market, with a 70% share. The next largest segment is medical equipment. And this market is huge: according to Frost & Sullivan, the drug segment exceeded $1.158 trillion in 2016. Within just the US, the medical equipment segment was worth $350 billion.
Within this market, the language barrier and the need to translate product descriptions, documentation and promotional materials are far from being the main problems. An obligatory condition for the introduction of a new drug in another national market is registration with local regulatory authorities. And as is the case with all countries, it is a complicated administrative procedure. At the same time, it is necessary to translate and submit a large amount of documentation,which must adhere to special terminology and document formatting requirements.
It is especially difficult to find and test translators on medical topics. This problem is also facing internal company translation departments, including translation companies specializing in medicine. If you are able to find and hire translators to translate into one or two foreign languages, then you will find that the internal translation department of, say, a pharmaceutical company will not be able to cope without external help when the number of products grows or the product range increases.
The very field of translation itself is complex. The documentation for the registration of new medication or the re-registration of a previously registered medication includes the results of pre-clinical and clinical studies as well as a description of its pharmaceutical properties and the technology that is used to produce it. Doctors with experience in this field are the best positioned to handle the translation of clinical research data. And in order to translate drug property descriptions and the technology that is used to produce these drugs, you must know analytical chemistry at at least the same level as a pharmacist.
When translating documentation related to medical technology, the translator should have more technical knowledge than medical expertise. Experience has shown us that this kind of translation is best handled not by doctors, but by engineers with a degree in Biotechnical Systems and Technologies.
A separate problem entirely is the quality control of medical translations. And this problem consists of more than just the stronger dependence of terminology on context, the internal complexity of the subject area (medicine, analytical chemistry, biotechnology), and the moral and legal responsibility that translators must take for their work. In translation companies, translation quality control can be improved through multistage checks and through the use of special customizable linguistic technologies that are practically unavailable when hiring translators on freelance exchanges.
The stated requirements for translator qualifications narrow the choice of translation service providers, and they increase the risks in the case of a poor translation.
In many cases, a viable integrated solution is to outsource the translation and related work to a provider of translation services. The optimal choice is a medium-sized translation company that provides a full range of experience-driven translation services with a pool of proven partners for performing medical translations in several languages simultaneously. At the same time, it's important that the translation service provider is also able to ensure quality control and the terminological accuracy of the translations into each language through the use of specialized language specialists with appropriate academic degrees.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR INTERPRETING IN MEDICINE
In the case of medical counseling and the treatment of patients who speak a different language, in some countries (for example, the USA) the use of an interpreter is not only highly desirable, but mandated by the law. Modern online interpretation technologies can solve many organizational and financial problems by connecting a patient with an interpreter remotely via phone, smartphone, tablet or laptop (that are connected to the Internet). In addition, this technology is increasingly being used to organize meetings with specialists from different countries, broadcast training webinars, and even to conduct classic-style conferences, thereby allowing you to save on expensive equipment for synchronous or consecutive interpreting.
MARKETING, TECHNICAL SUPPORT, AND PERSONNEL TRAINING
Good advertising support is required to promote medical equipment, especially technically complex and expensive products. The translation and adaptation of marketing materials in text and audiovisual media is a true art, which has been mastered only by professionals that work in the field of content localization.
In order to promote products in another country, it is necessary to supply the sellers and advertising specialists with product descriptions and to teach field personnel the specific methods of promoting a given product. To support consumers and service centers in different countries, a special support site will be useful - and it should be multilingual. The instructions must be translated for repair and diagnostic equipment.
The need arises to provide training courses for sellers, repairmen, and even the actual users of the medical products. Today, training is mostly done electronically. Paper instructions for users of medical devices are being replaced by their electronic counterparts, which in fact represent a special form of electronic training courses that provide the user with access to text, sound, video, and interactive elements. This new form of instruction has already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (2003-2007) and the regulatory authorities in the European Union (2012). As the usage of such multimedia instructions becomes permitted in other countries, the need for complex multilingual localization is growing more urgent. Logrus Global offers a full range of services for the development and localization of e-learning courses: from choosing an e-learning platform to the development of customized training courses.