Translation saves lives.
The healthcare sector is a highly regulated industry.
Therefore, translated material must be of the highest quality.
Language is critical and translation for healthcare can improve safety concerning diagnosis and prescription.
In countries with a high immigrant population, providing this information in the patients’ language is essential to avoid using children or anyone without language or medical knowledge as interpreters.
Exposing them to such a specialised language can also lead to confusion and overwhelm them.
For medical devices, accuracy is essential, and ‘good enough’ translations just won’t cut it.
There is no margin for error with translation for healthcare because errors can have fatal consequences.
There is a famous story in Miami where a young Cuban man was treated for being ‘intoxicado’.
In Spanish, this means to get sick by something you have eaten or drunk that is not in a good state or that has been altered on purpose.
In English, however, this is not the same as intoxicated.
This error and other cultural prejudices resulted in a drug overdose diagnosis, and he was left as a quadriplegic for life later after improper treatment.
Incorrectly translating one word cost the hospital $71m.
You can read more about this case here.
Your key staple for healthcare translation:
Technology has provided us with a wide range of products that help people manage their conditions.
From blood pressure meters to apps with exercises to get over hip surgery, providing information to patients in their language speeds up the recovery time.
When designing products for global audiences, adapt the language to the user.
Although healthcare professionals and patients can use a product, you won’t use the same terms and tone of voice in the marketing collateral you prepare for a medical expo as inpatient user instruction.
Do not raise unnecessary fears by using a language only you will understand.