Translation technology in healthcare is a popular subject as the medical industry crosses global borders. This is especially true when it comes to bringing medical innovations to new markets. Unfortunately, many companies choose a translation agency based on a generic “healthcare” expertise credential and end up with lackluster results. 

The healthcare translation industry requires granular level treatment and has many different components, all of which require a different approach. Working with a company that understands these vital differences will help to streamline the experience. 

Challenges in Managing the Components of Healthcare Communication

In healthcare, there is a big division between all the different stages of medicine. While there’s patient-facing and medical office translation to consider, most healthcare agencies that work internationally will deal more with drugs and devices in development–before patients and PCPs are involved. They’ll have to manage five key components: research and development, clinical trials, regulatory filings, marketing materials, and business operations. 


Clarity is vital in R&D to facilitate communication between researchers and to share ideas. Since these departments can span borders, defining key terms and strategies in various languages is critical. 

Clinical Trials

Accuracy is mandatory to facilitate the clinical trials as participants must understand the risk and benefits. Data validity is also crucial for those controlling the experiments. 

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Time management is essential in new medical product development. There will be a high volume of legal disclosures to complete at the regulatory stage and not much time to manage it. 


Maintaining consistency is both tricky and challenging in medical marketing. Ensuring the correct terminology is used across languages while staying within legal guidelines will require significant oversight.  

Business Operations 

This combines all the components of other healthcare translation complexities while also improving branding, tone, and an understanding of company culture. 

Why Versatility Is Vital for Translation Technology in Healthcare  It’s hard enough to manage all stages of communication in healthcare development in English, so adding languages creates challenges that may feel impossible even to experienced companies. It’s vital to choose a translation firm with well-rounded experience and versatility in managing various granular level components of medicine. 

Many times, healthcare translation is treated as a single component that requires background medical knowledge. This is a mistake as you’ll need linguists to have many other strengths like brand understanding, legal experience, and close attention to detail.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to vet this because a linguist’s resume may list medical experience without presenting a clear understanding of the specific area. Did they translate patient charts and doctor’s notes or work in clinical trial disclosures and reporting? This is where technology solutions come in since these are very different fields that require unique skillsets. Here are just a few essential options: 

  • AI-enabled linguist selection: Artificial intelligence can take many problems out of the linguist vetting process as it’s not dependent on resumes or CVs. These programs use actual metrics from completed jobs to establish a profile of a specific language expert’s strengths and weaknesses. The program then matches this linguist to potential employment within their particular and proven areas of expertise. 
  • Terminology management: The ability to map specific terms to their foreign language counterparts is necessary to ensure consistency in translating medical documentation. Terminology management will tokenize these terms to eliminate variation across documents. 
  • Translation memories: Translation memories store the key terms and phrases you use across translation for future use. A good program can even track the changes you make to apply them to all future documents. This feature is essential in healthcare-related translation as it delivers consistency of terms throughout languages and allows users to take advantage of what they’ve learned in past projects.  
  • Machine translation: Machine translation isn’t a stand-alone solution to medical content management. Instead, it’s a productivity enhancer that can work with the translator’s assistance to quickly fill in sections they’ve covered before–like the many template portions of regulatory documents–to speed the translation process. 
  • Scalable, transparent platforms: The entire translation project can be facilitated through an end-to-end localization management platform that allows you to set assignments, track jobs, and monitor progress. This platform should be secure and limit who can download content to minimize the risk of information breaches.  

The final thing you need isn’t technology-focused but instead centers on collaboration and project management. A customer success team led by an experienced manager with a deep understanding of all the micro components of healthcare translation can support accurate, on-time, and detailed results. 

Translation technology in healthcare can help companies manage all the various components that bring new medical innovations to the market. These tools build consistency, clarity, and speed into a process fraught with challenges. When managed using an end-to-end platform, you can gain the best possible results while streamlining project management. 

Bureau Works supports medical providers’ needs with translation technology in healthcare that provides consistency, clarity, and accuracy with a rapid turnaround. Request a demo to see how it works or contact our team for more information. 

Published On: July 20th, 2021 / Categories: Business Translation /

Gabriel Fairman

July 20, 2021

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