4 Effects of Technology on Pharmaceutical Translation

Image of chemical equipments

With the advancement in technology, the process of pharmaceutical translation has become more convenient and effective. Achieving numerous improvements throughout the years, it makes the healthcare industry more accessible for customers around the globe. Below are some examples of how technology has improved pharmaceutical translation and also the way of life for both staff and patients.

1. Reduce Cost

Image of the Translation Memory cycle
Process of translation memory

Translation memory (TM) is regarded as one of the major cost-saving translation technologies. It stores past translations in the database which can be reused again in future projects. Translation cost can be reduced as linguists charge less if TM with reusable phrases and sentences is provided. For example, since medicine labels usually contain repetitive words, TM can be used in this case to reduce cost. Furthermore, TM also improves quality as translation consistency stays the same throughout, proving that it does not only reduce cost but also provide ample quality.

2. Resolve Healthcare Language Barriers

Similarly, consistency also resolves language barriers. When translation is consistent throughout, it becomes easier to understand the translation being made. On the other hand, relying only on machine translation may result in errors. Machine translation alone cannot provide consistency. Thus we can use an earlier example of TM, whereby translated contents become consistent across projects as it stores past translations inputted by humans, thus allowing people to better understand the translated documents.

It is not uncommon for pharmaceutical companies from different countries to work hand in hand when combating diseases, especially when facing global health crisis like COVID-19. It is essential to have research documents or medical reports translated with high consistency, resolving language barriers for medical experts holding different native languages. TM uploaded in Cloud storage allows translators from every corner of the world to look for guidelines and references at any time. It helps linguists provide sound and accurate translations for healthcare workers in a timely manner.

3. Strengthen the Relationship between Patients and Healthcare Workers

With the rise in globalisation, many countries are now filled with people of different nationalities. People having no native language capabilities find it difficult to communicate with local doctors. On-demand interpreting service is a perfect solution to bridge the language gap. Doctors are able to understand the needs and acquire all necessary information from the patient at ease while patients can be more comfortable in expressing themselves, greatly improving the service quality. Elite Asia’s multilingual interpreting service provide 24/7 professional language support, enriching service offerings.

4. Reduce mistakes

Technology helps reduce mistake, avoiding irreversible life-and-death errors in the healthcare industry. Accuracy is of utmost importance in the sector as a simple mistake on a patient’s form may mislead the doctor to prescribe a wrong medicine.

A famous example is Willie Ramirez, who became quadriplegic after a translation mistake. The doctors had interpreted “intoxicado” as “intoxicated”, which resulted in malpractice.

Technology Improves the Quality of Healthcare

All in all, technology has greatly facilitated the development of pharmaceutical industry. Reducing translation costs by 50%, it helps improve efficiency without compromising the quality. While technology does indeed provide a lot of benefits for the healthcare sector, there is a general consent that technology can never replace humans. Language service providers, working together with pharmaceutical companies, should ensure the accuracy of the translation and assign linguists with in-depth pharmaceutical knowledge to handle the projects.

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