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The World of Medical Translation

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The majority of the medical translations we carry out at GlobaLexicon are for new products, clinical trials, general medical information or medical devices. As a leading provider of healthcare and market research translations, we deal with a variety of topics and documentation. Professional medical translation is necessary in order for professionals to provide the required care and treatment to all patients and it is important to be able to communicate effectively and efficiently, no matter what language they speak.

What is medical translation?

Medical translation covers a wide range of documents within the field, including information sheets for new pharmaceutical products, manuals for medical devices, documentation and surveys for research and clinical trials, hospital reports and more. It plays a vital part in helping healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies to connect with patients on a global scale, and to ensure that vital information is communicated when they may not share a native language.

The challenges in medical translation

In medical translation, even one small mistake has the potential to lead to serious problems and can be highly dangerous. Just one mistranslated word or figure in medication dosage or allergy information can result in irreversible and even lethal consequences.

The medical sector is vast and complex, requiring knowledge of medicine, pharmacology and also technology to handle the specialised documents effectively. A comprehension of biochemistry, genetics and physics is also required in certain fields. In addition, there are many different specialisms that exist within the world of medicine itself. For this reason, professional medical translators also often have a particular sub-speciality area of expertise; for example, cardiology or oncology. This enables them to keep up-to-date with the latest terminology and techniques in the fast-paced medical world, and maintain in-depth knowledge in order to produce a perfectly accurate medical translation.

Thus, for any company offering the translation of medical documentations, it is important that they employ and liaise with experts from a range of different medical specialisations when it comes to translating medical texts.

The need for local knowledge

The need for specialisation doesn’t end there. The brand names used to market different products, the types and structure of hospital facilities, the titles of the different healthcare providers and the types of procedures they are permitted to perform, and the regulatory bodies and guidelines all differ from country to country, to give just a few examples. Knowledge and familiarity of these areas is required in order to ensure the translation is accurately localised for each country where it will be used. If not, then a patient may not be provided with the correct information about which organisation they should report an adverse event to, or a research company many screen out the particular grade of healthcare provider that they wanted to interview.

Pharmacovigilance

Pharmacovigilance, which is also an area of focus for GlobaLexicon, is the process of collecting, monitoring, researching, assessing and evaluating information from healthcare providers and patients on any adverse effects, misuse or product complaints related to medications, to ensure that drugs on the market are safe for patients and to identify any new associated hazards or quality issues.

There has already been a significant shift in pharmacovigilance due to changes in legislation, from Volume 9A to GVP guidelines. The new legislation has put a greater emphasis on patient safety, meaning that pharmacovigilance has far more of a central role to play than before.

Overall, it is clear that in medical translation, the choice of translator or translation service is highly important and not a decision to be taken lightly. With the right experience, knowledge and skill, we can ensure to deliver a professional translation of the highest quality.

If you are interested in healthcare translation services or Pharmacovigilance, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

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