Written by Kim Shouler
To meet the needs of patients, life science companies need to embrace technology to improve the localization process. We’ve addressed how companies across all industries are making employee experience a priority. Now, this trend is mirrored in the life science sector. Ever-increasing efforts are being made to improve the experience of patients and healthcare consumers.
Clinical trials, in particular, are leading the way with a real push to make patients better-informed, more comfortable, and feel more highly valued.
Only a decade ago, being a patient could mean reading through stacks of paper or sitting through long, complex consultations to get information about your healthcare or treatment. And when the information wasn’t readily available in a patient’s native language, that made the process even more intimidating. These obstacles reduced patients’ knowledge and engagement in their own healthcare journey.
Now, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly focusing on the patient’s experience throughout the treatment process. We’re seeing more life science companies using technology, e-learning, and online tools to boost patient engagement, especially in clinical trials. Many are modernizing their information delivery and data collection methods from paper-based information sheets and diaries, for example, to apps, games, and websites.
Localization is a huge part of improving patient experience in clinical research, because it allows trial participants to be (and stay!) more engaged in their trial. By taking away language and culture barriers, patients are better informed, feel more comfortable, and are more likely to accurately follow instructions.
Lower patient engagement in clinical trials means lower recruitment levels, which mean fewer trials, which in turn will affect the availability of new, exciting and much-needed pharmaceuticals. On the other hand, if patients feel engaged and fully understand their involvement in a trial and what is required of them, this leads to improved patient retention and more accurate results. All this means less time to market for pharmaceutical products.
In life science marketing, messaging is most effective when it’s accurately translated and properly localized for the target audience and culture.
For healthcare consumers, clear and effective information aids their decision-making and allows them to be more engaged in their treatment, increasing the chances of a better outcome.
In pharmaceuticals and in clinical trials, effectiveness must be combined with accuracy. Patient-facing tools and content must be accurate, as a miscommunication can have drastic effects. So translation and localization providers must use qualified linguists and have rigorous quality control measures, including additional reviews or testing. However, as trial-related content increasingly moves online, how can translation service providers avoid any delays in the localization process?
Clinical trials may often use videos, animation or gaming to explain a trial, give instructions, or aid patient engagement. As a result, multimedia localization requiring subtitling or voiceover into the patient’s own language is now more common than ever. There are many different options for localizing multimedia content, so take care to consult with the experts to see which process best suits your needs, budget, and target market.
For web-based content and apps, in-context testing can be one of the most time-consuming parts of the process. For patient-facing content, in particular, it’s very important to ensure that your localized version has the same look and impact as the original. Tools such as Venga’s InView can streamline this process, since these tools allow for screen captures and let translators input their translations directly into an online platform, removing the need to copy and paste content.
For websites, in particular, tools like WebToGlobal help quickly create accurate foreign language website versions and allow any future content updates to be automatically detected and sent out for translation. Automating this process cuts out manual involvement, which saves time and crucially, lessens the chance of any input errors.
It’s clear that digital disruption is transforming the landscape of healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and the same is also true for the localization industry, with new tools being developed all the time to streamline processes whilst maintaining high-quality levels. It’s an optimal moment to combine these tech advances. Integrating localization tools into the translation process will reach new target markets and truly engage patients around the globe.