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expenses in medical translation

Why Are Medical Translations So Expensive?

By | Medical Translation | No Comments

Medical companies have to trust their medical translation service as it’s such a highly specialized field and the translation needs to be accurate. This is why this type of translation is so expensive. Medical companies are fully aware that any language mistake may well put a patient’s outcomes at risk. Due to the unacceptable cost of medical mistakes and the financial burden of malpractice lawsuits and product recalls, medical companies prefer to pay a little more to get a reliable translation as they have an important need for translation.

In summary, medical translation is still one of the most demanded translation fields, so a medical translation service is essential to cover this demand.

One of the most important requirements today is that any key information to do with medical products and devices must be available in the host of languages that are likely to have people who are to be the recipients of the devices and products. As well as the translation of the material that users of the products will need to be able to access, there are also translations required for specific documents that need to be presented to regulatory bodies in a country that are part of the approval process of these devices and products.

Regulatory documents have very strict requirements and they state what information is needed when a drug or device company is seeking approval to market its product. There is a need for translation of any useful scientific research, clinical trials, medical software and the accompanying user guides. Depending on how the product is to be used there is a translation of labeling and packaging and web content information that needs to be completed by a medical translation service.

A translator from a medical translation online service will be limited to the number of words that can be translated every day. It will all depend on the complexity of the document but it may not exceed 1,500 words.

In summary, all medical translations involve a multi-step process with the extra burden of having to deal with an industry that’s heavily regulated with strict quality controls dominating the release of any products.

If you have a need for translation seeking a competent medical translation online is not necessarily that easy as quality has to take first stage, not a cheap translator who can’t be vetted.

languages in medical tranlsation

The Languages that are Important for Medical Translations

By | Translation Tips | No Comments

Facts about language use in key cities:

It’s important to know the range and diversity of languages spoken in a country so that appropriate translations such as those involved with medical document translation and equipment can be conducted to keep the public properly informed.

● In the New York metropolitan area, 192 different languages are spoken in homes. 38% of the age 5 and over age group speak at least another language apart from English in the home.

● In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, no less than 185 languages are spoken in homes. 54% of those aged 5 years and over are able to speak a language apart from English while at home.

● In the Chicago metropolitan area, 153 languages can be found spoken at home. 29% of the metropolitan area of age 5 years old and more speak one other language apart from English while at home.

● In the Miami metropolitan area, no less than 128 languages are spoken at home. 51% of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home.

● In the Atlanta metropolitan area around 146 languages can be found spoken at home. 17 percent of those of those over the age of 5 speak one other language besides English in the home.

● In the Seattle metropolitan area approximately 166 languages can be heard spoken in the home while 22% of those aged 5 and above speak one other language besides English.

Language barriers can turn out to be massive stumbling blocks when a person needs medical care. To ensure the multiplicity of languages is covered, Section 1557 of the 2010 Affordable Care Act was passed. This prohibits discrimination for any reason whatsoever for not being included in health programs and other activities that are provided by the Department of Health and Human Service on the basis of language. It also emphasizes the importance of utilizing language translation services so that providing substandard care because of language barriers can be avoided at all costs.

Medical treatment providers have a great source of language translators that can be accessed to meet the needs of their limited English clients. There are linguists available in more than 350 languages using on-demand services via Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) and Over the Phone Interpretation (OPI). It’s possible to even connect with an interpreter in a named language within several minutes of submitting a request. There is no excuse to provide a poor service to those who don’t have good spoken English.

Medical Interpreting

Medical Interpreting is Moving into Video Conferencing

By | Translation Facts | No Comments

The medical field is one that has a reputation for taking on new technology when it becomes available. This benefits both the health professionals and the patients they treat. One of the newest types of technology to become available is a video remote interpreting (VRI) service. It allows non-English-speaking people who find themselves in need of medical help a better chance of communicating effectively and accurately as quickly as possible.

The main problem when trying to interpret what a person in need of medical help wants is that if the message is unclear, the person may not get the correct treatment. If interpreting services are available instantly, then no problems should occur, but as this isn’t always the case then ultimately someone will be out there trying to find ways to improve the situation.

Read More

Language Services Available to Healthcare Providers

By | Medical Document Translation | No Comments

More and more non-English speakers reside in the United States than ever before and this trend is on the rise. According to the latest census in 2011, more than 60 million residents in the US speak a language at home that’s not English.  There is pressure on the states from the Federal government to provide the same level of care to those who have limited English ability when compared to full English speakers. The 1964 Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits any discrimination based on color, race or national origin.

The Affordable Care Act expressly states that healthcare institutions are required to provide both a written translation service and oral interpreting service, for those who have limited competence in English. Healthcare establishments are threatened with losing out on Federal funding if they fail to provide sufficient care.

What can a healthcare establishment do when confronted with a person who has little or no English ability?

The first choice is the use of In-Person Interpreting by booking up a professional interpreter through an agency to attend a patient’s appointment. This is far better than using a member of staff who typically says they are bilingual but has had no professional experience interpreting, particularly in a medical context.  A certified medical interpreter is trained to understand medical terminology and knows how to keep an appointment running smoothly.

If an emergency situation develops and it’s impossible to get an interpreter immediately, Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is now becoming a possible effective solution. VRI can be used via a device like a tablet or a laptop. A video call is made to a professional interpreter in the required language and a time fixed for the interpreting using a method similar to Skype.  The VRI is a 24/7 service which makes it suitable for emergency situations where there is little or no time to arrange an appointment with the usual professional interpreter.

Telephone Interpreting is another option and requires placing a call to what is called an over-the-phone interpreter service. An access number is provided offering the services of interpreters between 100 and 200 languages which can be accessed very quickly.  Some interpreters use a speakerphone throughout the duration of an appointment while in the presence of the medical professional and the patient.  This tends to work well when it comes to providing more basic information in a short time frame but in longer more detailed appointments this method is not considered quite personal enough.

Medical document translation services

There is also a need to translate documents, whether they are health information signs, discharge instructions, or informational booklets. For this, a professional translation service can do a good job, as long as it has long-standing experience handling medical translations.

Medical Device Translation

The Importance of Medical Device Translation Can’t Be Minimised

By | Medical Device Translation | No Comments

Medical device innovation and marketing is almost always an international phenomenon. A medical device that improves the detection of pressure sores, for example, may indeed have been developed in say Japan, but its usefulness, once tests have proved that it is safe and effective is global. Medical device translation is an extremely important part of any decision to sell medical devices on an international scale. The American caregiver, the Swedish nurse and Ghanaian doctor are all interested in using a new painkiller or antibiotic but would be reluctant to do so if the information and instructions accompanying these vital medical tools are in German.

Medical device translation requirements are generally of a much higher standard than that of general translation tasks where precise matching of medical instructions and terminology is vital. Take a Korean surgeon, for example, who is told of a brilliant new technique for dealing with prostate cancer. Every society where there is an aging population, such as in Korea, will have similar demands for anti-cancer research, effective new drugs and innovative medical devices. The device manufacturer will be aware, or should be aware, of the importance of medical device translation and should have prepared meticulous instructions in Korean (and other languages of course) and probably a video of how to use the device. Pictures can often say a thousand words, but doctors and others in the medical profession don’t have time to listen to 1,000 words. They may need to use that device to save a life today.

A survey of medical device companies by Lionbridge and CG-EY revealed that a full 95% of companies expected to increase their translation needs within the next five years. More than 50% of companies surveyed revealed also that over half of their device sales were to an international market. Perhaps more tellingly, companies were saying that in many cases they had no option but translate material on the use and care of new medical devices.

Medical device companies, like many globalizing businesses, are now at the stage of asking how a medical device translation should take place rather than why it should. Businesses are increasingly taking translation seriously and trying to balance the obvious demand for translated documents and device information with the presumed estimation of success.

Medical Translation Services

No Room for Unreliable Medical Translation Services

By | Medical Document Translation | No Comments

Medical knowledge, like medical science, is universal. It doesn’t belong to a single individual or nation, even if much of the work that has lead to anyone medical breakthrough is the work of a research organization, or research team, based in one particular country.

Medical knowledge is often an international team effort. New medicines and innovative techniques and technology are often enthusiastically shared so that breakthroughs can be tested rigorously across national boundaries. Some medical breakthroughs are in fact intended to be used far away from the place or places where research is being carried out. Think of the zika virus, for instance, or ebola. Both are of tropical origin, on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Both viruses are serious and in the case of ebola, potentially fatal. Both viruses can spread beyond their original origins and mutate and become more virulent as they are allowed to expand their influence.

Expert medical translators are an integral feature of medical research and medical application. Without effective medical translation services, people across the globe would be unable to share common medical goals.

It’s not just the research phase of medical knowledge where medical translators are valuable. Once a drug, instrument or technique has been perfected, it will be marketed and used in dozens of different health systems, both in the government sector and the various private health systems around the world. Drug doses, instrument manuals and information on best practice surgery must be translated as accurately as possible to avoid medical errors and potential fallout in the number of derailed or delayed treatments that are carried out worldwide every single day.

Expert medical translators often have feet firmly planted in the medical sector and usually have an excellent background in medical terminology and techniques. It is better for anyone in the medical and health sectors who are thinking of sharing or selling their medical information or treatment types overseas to use professional medical translation services rather than going for the cheapest translators, who may not have the ability to translate potentially life-changing the medical translation.

Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Translations

Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Translations

By | Pharmaceutical Translation | One Comment

As with just about every industry today, products are being marketed to the international community. In most cases, whether it’s a product handbook or a warranty document, accuracy is important in professional medical translation and that means 100 percent accuracy. If there is even one mistake in either a pharmaceutical translation or a medical device translation the recipient could get seriously injured.

The sorts of details that need to be translated include measurement units that must be recorded accurately otherwise the user may not take enough or take too much of the drug resulting in some dangerous side-effects. Other information includes that found on packaging and information leaflets. If a medicine is in pill or tablet form and has a dosage clearly written on the label in the languages of the likely recipient it’s unlikely that the product will be misused.

However, if a medicine is given as a powder or syrup the amount to be taken has to be clearly illustrated. If the pharmaceutical is being prescribed to an American, but in metric form, it’s important that the product advertises the amount to be taken in the right measuring language. Americans aren’t necessarily proficient at understanding metric quantities.

The packaging on the drug NyQuil is a good example as it includes both the US customarily used units as well as metric units, so 30 mL equates to 2 TBSP. these need to be translated into key languages used in the targeted countries.

Drugs versus medical devices

The initial stage of a drug trial focuses on a small unit of healthy patients first however with medical devices it’s not acceptable to install them on people who have no need for them. Also, devices typically require a smaller study group in order to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of them than pharmaceuticals require. So, the 4 phase study for pharmaceuticals comprises a healthy population group, a small affected population, a larger affected population and the post-approval study is substituted for a 3 stage process, which comprises a small pilot group, a bigger patient group and a post-approval group.

What’s important about a translator?

100 percent accuracy is the goal of any professional medical translation, so the translator should be very familiar with the correct term in order to ensure readability, accuracy and the credibility of the author of the text. The deeper the pharmaceutical and device translator’s knowledge of the vital subject matter, including documents that have come from the country’s regulatory body the better the translation of the required documents.

Veterinary Translation

Veterinary Translations are Necessary in Today’s World

By | Veterinary Document Translation | No Comments

Translation is a field that involves all sorts of disciplines, from the translation of legal documents, scientific documents to business documents, medical device documents and even veterinary translation services. Animal lovers and owners and even farmers these days don’t necessarily live in their country of origin. Even though they consider themselves fluent when they relocate to a new country, there are some disciplines like veterinary work that uses a specific language which they may never been exposed to except in their own language.

As with medical documents, translation of veterinary documents is very important. Veterinary translation services have a role to play that is key to any country that has a variety of different language speakers. When it comes to the customer using veterinary services it’s important that he or she can understand any treatment provided for their animals and its consequences.

Most information is provided in the national language of a country as a first priority, but with so many people now living outside their country of origin who might not have the language skills to understand technical veterinary documents, it’s imperative that suppliers of drugs and devices to veterinary clinics ensure that product information is translated into the key languages of the speakers who are high users of veterinary services.

Animal lovers may even like to know more details about treatment options and their side-effects so if they don’t speak the language well of their host country they will want to see the material translated into their language. The same can be said of farmers who may have invested in purchasing a farm out of their own country but who can’t understand the information provided with veterinary products. They may have the farming skills, but not the veterinary knowledge.

Other reasons for a veterinary translation

There are many scientific and clinical trials carried out on veterinary products that to be useful to the world community need to be translated into the world’s key languages. Additionally, textbooks for veterinary studies need to be made available in the languages used for study purposes around the world.

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Translating in a Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Environment

By | Pharmaceutical Translation | No Comments

Language is so much based on context that when a lot of time has been spent writing a text it still may be open to the way the reader interprets it. This is even true with translations. It is only those translations that have been completed by a highly trained and experienced translator will mean that interpretation of the translated text resembles that of the source text.

There are some pharmaceutical interpretations that may have a narrow interpretation and those that have a broader scope for translation. The problem arises is how the reader should safely interpret the information provided in the pharmaceutical document. If a translator from pharmaceutical translation services, is presented with a pharmaceutical document and doesn’t fully understand the document his or herself because of ambiguities present the only recourse is to go back to the person who wrote the document in the 1st place. Translators for medical translation services who are not given this option should inform their clients of any contradictions or ambiguities found in the source document. It doesn’t take much to work out who is likely to be held responsible for any contradictions or ambiguities that are found in the translation.

Once the translator has gained a reasonable understanding of the source document for the medical and pharmaceutical translation, the translation is almost ready to commence. There are a few other things that need to be considered apart from the actual meaning of the text. These are the voice, mood and person used with the verb. Whether an action needs to be performed or there is a choice. Instructions need to be expressed and translated in the same way in the original as in the translated documents. In the standard operating procedures used in the pharmaceutical industry it’s important that consistency in meaning is maintained to ensure the product is used appropriately.

Another common issue in English is the use of words used in instructions like check and other verbs suggesting an action. For example, you should check for leaks. This appears to mean that the product instructions are telling you to make sure there are no leaks. It could read that you are told to make sure there are leaks. It’s important for the translator of medical and pharmaceutical translations that the precise meaning of the instruction is clear so that it can be translated into the targeted language without compromising the meaning.

Outsourcing Clinical Trials

Challenges in Medical Translation for Outsourcing Clinical Trials

By | Medical Document Translation | No Comments

Before a drug is released for public use it has to undergo thorough trials some of which take more than 10 years to complete and can cost at least a million dollars. Not all clinical trials necessarily take place where the drug is produced and these days many take place in Asian countries where the monitoring process and reporting will take place in a language other than English. Translating Clinical Trial papers can only be successful if the medical translators understand the likely pitfalls if the medical translation is not taken seriously.
Breakdown of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials follow 5 distinct phases which are:

● Commencement of drug testing on non-humans to test toxicity and pharmacokinetic information.

● Testing the drug on healthy volunteers in order to calculate dosage requirements. This could also be cancer victims if the drug is an anti-cancer drug.

● Testing the drug on patients who have certain medical conditions to test for potential side-effects.

● Testing the drug on patients with certain medical conditions and assess dosage level.

Post-marketing monitoring in force to double check the effect of specified dosages on real patients.
Medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies have been outsourcing clinical trials to Contract Research Organizations (CROs) for a number of years. A spokesperson for reported that in 2014 the world CRO market had a value in excess of $27 billion and this is expected to increase at 6 percent per year over the coming years. North America has the lion’s the share of the CRO market with Europe following, while the Asia-Pacific is becoming the fastest growing area for CRO activity.

When outsourcing clinical trials, there are many medical translation challenges. This is because it is necessary to adhere to regulatory requirements, approval procedures, and medical conduct where the CROs operate. Medical translation of this nature requires far higher attention to detail than other kinds of translation, as a poor translation could put people’s lives and health at risk. To put it quite simply, when clinical trials are outsourced to countries where those involved don’t speak the language of the CRO, attention to a medical translation is far more important.

When medical translations are provided for clinical trials, the medical translators involved must consider carefully the target audience whether it’s medical personnel or a layperson. For example, medical terms such as “hypotension”, “tinnitus” and “myalgia” when defined for the layperson in mind would be “low blood pressure”, “ringing in the ears” and “muscle ache”.

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