One of the costliest mistakes global businesses make is not localizing their medical device translation content. Localization goes beyond basic translation work: it involves digging into the local culture, getting to know what drives consumers in various areas to buy, and learning about the areas where your sales team does business.
There are legal matters to consider, as well as liability concerns in each country where you sell your products, whether you’re putting together instructions for use, submitting regulatory compliance documents (for the US and Asian countries), or translating patent applications. One incorrect translation could get you sued by patients who couldn’t understand the contraindications.
Also, if your translated materials are in a language that isn’t as widely spoken in an area as the local dialect is — for example, for many in Barcelona, Spanish is secondary to Catalonian — you might not even get your products approved for a new market.
That’s why localizing your medical device translations is so imperative. Let’s look at how to localize your medical device translation content so you stay competitive in the global marketplace.
What needs localizing?
When in doubt, localize that translation! There are so many components and documents that are involved in marketing and selling medical devices in other countries, that you don’t want to skimp on anything that could make a difference to your success.
To first be approved to enter a new market, your regulatory compliance documents will need localized translation. If you are seeking patents approved in other countries, add those to the list. If you plan to manufacture your medical devices overseas, make sure your manufacturing process descriptions are translated into the local language and/or dialect. Then, any supporting materials that will accompany your products, including operating manuals, instructions for use, and package inserts and labels, should also be translated by a qualified language service provider.
Have a qualified translation done on the text
When you’re ready to start your medical device translation, you need the right person working on your materials. Hiring a translator inexperienced in localizing for your industry and the geographic region you’re targeting could damage your brand.
A quality translation of your medical device content, on the other hand, ensures that your content is in good hands. This person must sign off that the translation is completed and is as accurate as possible, to the best of the translator’s ability. In the medical device industry, accurate completion is crucial to your success.
Don’t forget culture
Localization isn’t just about the verbal translation of your materials. If you use images on your brochures or labels, you’ll need to pay attention to nonverbal communication. The images and colors you use affect the way a person views your company and product.
Without an accurate understanding of how your medical device marketing and legal materials are viewed, you could be costing your company more than you realize. To that end, do some research to understand the taboo imagery to avoid in your visual representation.
Test before you launch
When your materials are put together and you’re ready to send them out, wait! You’re not quite ready to send your marketing message to the world. First, you’ll want to undergo a “cognitive debriefing.”
Cognitive debriefings in the medical device industry are vital to a company’s success. These debriefings confirm that the translated materials are properly understood and well received. This is the last step that you need to take to ensure that your communications are delivered in the manner you intend.
Localizing your medical device translation allows you to hone your message, target your verbal and nonverbal cues, and make a stronger impact in the regions you enter with your products.