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The Importance of Translation in Life Sciences: Ensuring Safety, Compliance, and Growth

Increase global reach and ensure international regulation compliance with life science localization and translation

In today’s global health infrastructure, clear communication between hospitals, companies, specialists, and governments is critical to patient well-being. Unfortunately, this is not always easy.

A diversity of languages and regulations often creates roadblocks to progress. This is why expert translation is so vital to the global life sciences and healthcare industry.

Life sciences translation ensures patient safety, aids in regulatory compliance, facilitates communication with a diverse global audience and enables organizations to expand into new markets.

However, healthcare organizations often lack linguistic services that enable them to provide the best quality care to patients. And in some cases, they employ unqualified translators and interpreters that do more harm than good by prolonging care and treatment and raising costs.

To ensure the success of global healthcare brands and the well-being of patients, industry deciders must understand the growing importance of life science translation. And, they need to understand which factors to consider when seeking a life sciences translation agency.

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What is Life Science Translation?

Life science translation is a highly specialized type of translation for health-related resources. It covers a wide range of areas including healthcare services, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, clinical trials and regulatory submissions.

The life science translation services typically include:

  • Medical document translation
  • Translation for pharma and biotech
  • Translation for medical devices
  • Translation for contract research organizations (CRO)
  • COA and eCOA Translation
  • Translation of regulatory submissions

Each of these areas requires extreme precision due to the potential for consequences when mistranslations occur. For instance, a wrongly translated medical device product could lead to harmful misuse or insufficient treatment.

This is why it’s life science companies should only hire translators who have industry specialization and experience, such as the certified linguists and life science project managers at Wolfestone Group.

The Role of Translation for Patient Safety

Language should never be a barrier to patient safety, but it often is. Even within the US, a lack of Spanish translation in hospitals has led to “rampant” miscommunication and improper care, according to research.

Further research by Johns Hopkins has found that miscommunication and misinformation, often a result of poor translation, can lead to medical errors, which are the third leading cause of death in the US.

Accurate translations of medical records, lab results, aftercare instructions and consent forms are fundamental to ensuring patients receive the correct treatment and understand their rights. When patients travel abroad or research is shared around the globe, accurate translation ensures that medical professionals provide the best care possible.

Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance plays a critical role in the safety of patients and the survival of your business. Inaccurate translations can result in rejection of applications or delays in approvals, adversely affecting both your company and patients awaiting new treatments.

Clinical trial documents, regulatory submissions and patient consent forms all need to be accurately translated to maintain compliance with local and international regulations.

When you hire a standard translation agency, the burden of ensuring regulatory compliance in ever-changing markets rests entirely with your company. When you partner with a life sciences translation agency, they will assist you in navigating the red tape and regulatory changes, ensuring your translated documents meet compliance standards in your target region.

Bridging the Global Communication Gap

Progress in the life sciences and healthcare industry can only move as fast as experts are able to communicate. Accurate translation of medical research, terminology and documentation ensures that important findings and treatments can be shared worldwide and that medical teams can effectively communicate with diverse patient populations.

This isn’t only beneficial for patients. Companies that access new research more quickly will be better prepared to make advances and anticipate changes in the market.

Expert translation facilitates understanding and knowledge sharing, contributing to the advancement of global healthcare and the agility of life sciences companies.

Translation as a Gateway to New Markets

Translation acts as a springboard for life science companies aiming to expand into new markets. From website translation to product labels to social media, reliable translation services enable companies to launch personalized campaigns that foster trust with customers. When working with a certified life sciences translator, you can also be assured that your company is building a strong foundation of trust among the medical community and regulators.

Localization is also a critical aspect of life sciences translations, especially when communicating with patients or translating marketing materials. Translations that are not properly adapted to the cultural norms and nuances of the target market may cause trust to erode. Establishing trust and credibility from the start is essential for life sciences companies entering new markets, so the quality of life sciences localized translation can make or break market entries.

What to Look for In a Life Sciences Translation Agency

Translation is critical to the progress of any life sciences company whether its aspirations are global or local. Improving access to research and enabling quicker and more effective communication is good for business and patient care. But your progress depends on the expertise of your translation agency.

When considering a translator for life sciences, look for the following key factors:

  • A life sciences service offering: The agency should have a service offering dedicated to the life sciences/healthcare industry. This shows that they are aware of the needs of life sciences clients.
  • Translators with experience in life sciences: The translators assigned to your tasks must be certified. And, they should have experience in the life sciences industry or multiple years of experience in life sciences translation.
  • Comprehensive life sciences linguistic services: The agency should offer more than basic life sciences translation services. They should also offer localization, interpreting, voiceover/captioning, and other linguistic services to allow you to communicate promptly and effectively.
  • Life sciences quality controls (including compliance): Accuracy is paramount in the life sciences industry. Your agency should implement robust quality assurances that include human accuracy controls as well as compliance checks.
  • The opportunity to build long-term partnerships with translators: Working with the same linguists over time allows them to get to know your brand and continuously improve their services. It’s like having an in-house translation department, which greatly improves translation quality.

If a translation agency does not meet the above requirements, consider expanding your search to include Wolfestone Group.

Wolfestone Group has offered life sciences translation services for nearly 20 years. Its translators have at least 5 years of experience in life science translation, and it offers a broad range of linguistic services, including all of those mentioned above plus multilingual SEO, subtitling and live language training.

Wolfestone Group’s clients include global life sciences brands like Clinigen and Circassia as well as prestigious organizations like the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. And, it is proud to have the most robust quality and compliance controls in the industry.

As a life science organization, partnering with a reputable translation service provider like Wolfestone Group ensures the accuracy and reliability of your translated materials.

Contact Wolfestone Group today to support your global health communication and market expansion needs.

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