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Medical Translations: Helping to Overcome Language Barriers in Healthcare

Language, unlike medicine, is not universal. It is needed for any kind of communication, which becomes difficult in situations where two individuals try to speak to one another but do not understand each other. This inability to connect using a language is known as a language barrier. It is one of the most common causes of misunderstandings and misinterpretations. In the world of medicine, this barrier may undermine a patient’s access to quality healthcare. A patient may not understand the treatment and advice from their medical doctors, in addition to documentation being presented to them for a clinical trial, for example. A hospital who does not have a local speaking staff, or who does not have access to an interpreter may not be able to relay the accurate medicine dosage a patient needs to take. This will cause the patient or a family member to interpret the prescription label on a bottle with limited understanding and administer the medicine themselves. This can lead to a more severe illness, and in certain cases, death.

Medical translation is the translation of technical, regulatory, clinical or marketing documentation, software or training curriculum for the pharmaceutical, medical device or healthcare fields. Medical documents can be difficult to translate. The medical industry is driven by strict regulations with the highest quality. A product launch in a global market can get quite complicated. A lot of countries (if not all) require that literature and tagging of medical devices or medications sold be converted into the national language. Documents required to conduct clinical trials almost always requires translation for local doctors, patients, and regulatory representatives to be able to interpret them. Regulatory approval submissions also need to be translated.

Translating medical documents and terms cannot simply be entrusted to a person who speaks the local language. Ad hoc interpreters are more likely to commit interpretation errors that might have potential clinical repercussions. Medical translations are highly specialized and entail precision, accuracy, expertise, and an updated technical knowledge by all members of the translation team. They should know current medical terminologies and slang, medical terms, and culturally-sensitive language appropriate to the intended meaning of the text they are translating. A global translation services team require knowledge and a full understanding of strict regulatory laws especially for the United States, Japan, and the European Union. The medical translations need to meet international standards.

A global translation services company should be able to provide you medical translations in multiple languages, which is a necessity when translating clinical trial documents, because of the globalization of clinical research. It is imperative that the translation company you partner with focuses on quality and accuracy to enable you to launch globally.

CPSL is a global translation services company that specializes in medical translations. It has a certified team of medical linguists who translate your medical documents into multiple languages for clinical trials and regulatory submissions worldwide. Its translators have the regulatory accuracy and expertise to ensure high-quality and accurate medical translations from pre-clinical to post-market phases of your product’s life cycle.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_translation

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