Accessibility is Imperative: The Importance of Medical Device Translation

Medical device translation


Medical device translation is an important aspect of the industry and not a responsibility to be trifled with. Translation is about inclusion. Through utilising medical device translation services, you are opening up your demographic by allowing patients to understand in their native language.

Medical technology has seen considerable growth in recent years. The potential to explore other markets is there to capitalise on. Mexico, for example, imported $4bn worth of medical devices in 2015. They were the fourteenth largest importer of medical devices that year. With $4bn being only the fourteenth largest, there is evidence of great potential.

Translating your medical device(s) to enter more markets requires a thoughtful provider who will not take the task lightly.

Why Should I Translate?

Certain countries have rigorous operational regulations. For example, the entire European Union has its own requirements when translating medical devices. It is mandatory to supply for all the official languages of each nation. As there are currently 28 member states, medical device translation would need to provide vital information in 24 languages.

Accessibility is vital for consumers – the majority say that information in their native language is more important than price. If your medical device is sold directly to consumers then this is necessary.

Be sure to exclusively utilise translators who are experts with significant qualifications and relevant experience; linguists outside of the industry could unintentionally cause significant, irreparable damage.

What Should I Translate?

It would be best to consult with a provider who hires professionally qualified linguists. A high-quality translation services agency will be able to advise you on what needs to be translated for each nation.

The following is a list of examples to consider:

  • Development Safety Update Reports (DSURs)
  • Instructions for Use (and Operation)
  • Regulatory Compliance Documents (for each market i.e. the European Union)
  • Package Inserts and Labels
  • Suspected Unexpected Serious Adverse Reactions (SUSARs)
  • Manufacturing Process Descriptions
  • Product Descriptions
  • Software Application Interfaces and Documentation
  • eLearning Materials
  • eLabelling

Collaborate with your language services provider to find the best multilingual solution.

Consider Translation Technology

Certain translation technologies could be deployed if you will require repeated translations. By utilising technologies like Machine Translation with post-editing, you build a bank of translations personalised to your company. The more information it is fed, the more accurate it becomes. After a million words translated, clients can see savings ranging from 40 to 70%.

Another translation technology to benefit from are interactive Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. Whereas Machine Translation will translate the whole document, CAT tools utilise previous translations to update the current project. With continued repeated phrases in any form of business, this reduces costs and speeds the translation process by allowing the linguist to focus on only new translations.

What About Free Translation Tools?

Translation is a skill. Although technology is moving quickly to benefit linguists and speed along the translation process, technology will not replace human translators overall. Machine Translation is best paired with bilingual post-editing to utilise the speed of a machine translator, but the preciseness of a human translator.

Free translation tools are costly due to their inconsistency, lack of quality assurance and generic engine. The tools are ‘fed’ by information all over the internet, meaning the translation is predicted rather than organically developed to generate.

Free translation tools have several articles dedicated to ludicrous mistranslations. When working in a regulated and specialised market, the risk is too great as consequences for non-compliance can be fatal.

Marketing is Important Too

As previously stated, the majority of consumers have said that information in their language is more important than price. This point cannot be understated.

One of the ways to elevate yourself as an industry leader is to translate your website into the official languages of the countries you operate in. Although things like eLabelling will become regulatory in the near future, website localisation will see increased engagement, brand awareness and improved relationships with stakeholders.

Transcreation is a great service to carry the marketing’s power across borders. Transcreation is derived from ‘translation’ and ‘recreation’, often described as ‘creative translation’. By combining translation and localisation, the service helps your brand to remain consistent, emotive and powerful across the world.


Accessibility is becoming more of a necessity and language is one of the solutions.

Your translation partner should understand the importance of medical device translation. More than that, the best partner will see you reap significant benefits from a high-quality translation.

Are you ready to be an industry leader?

Translate with us!



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