Machine Translation Addresses the Need for Speed in Clinical Studies

Increasing the speed and efficiency of clinical studies is a well understood and agreed upon priority of most clinical operations professionals. However, according to CenterWatch 86% of clinical trials experience delays and 81% of these reach one to six months in length, with 5% of delays lasting even longer.  One approach to speed up the translation portion of the clinical process is the use of machine translation (MT).

MT is a technology that automatically produces translations of text without human intervention. MT output is frequently part of a larger translation workflow that involves humans as post-editors or reviewers. It requires previous production and consistent data collection to create a knowledge domain that will produce accurate outputs. In order to work with MT in a smart and professional way, it is crucial to work together with other market tools such as computer-aided translation (CAT) tools. This technology provides distinct advantages that create powerful tools to streamline translation and localization processes, including:

Cost reduction. Because modern MT systems can translate high volumes at low cost, they enable sponsors and companies to translate more text into more languages. For life sciences companies dealing with millions of source words, MT is a viable piece of the translation puzzle.

Faster time-to-market. MT systems can translate text at speeds that human translators cannot match. This enables them to meet on-demand requirements or to meet turn-around times that traditional processes cannot match.

Accuracy. MT systems allow for improved quality, in terms of accuracy, orthography and consistency. It avoids errors, especially omissions, that can sometimes occur with human translations.

Tool integration. MT systems are increasingly integrated with other translation tools, such as terminology and translation memory. The merging of these technologies has a direct benefit in terms of the quality of raw MT output, but also supports human-centered production methods that combine the speed and volume capabilities of MT with the quality and intelligence of human-translation processes.

Life sciences companies looking to decrease time-to-market and translation costs, without reducing quality, have a variety options. MT solutions can include various degrees of software training inputs combined with light or heavy post-editing to refine final proofs. The important thing is to find a language services provider with access to a range of solutions, including MT, and then works to best suit the needs of their client.

After more than a decade of training a specific MT engine tailored for clinical trial documentation, Welocalize Life Sciences is seeing incredible results. In an average 10,000 word document the average human intervention is only between 1,500 to 3,000 words. That means that 70% to 85% of the words are translated correctly by the translation engine, and the post-editor only concentrates on 15% to 30% of a document. The integration of MT solutions can lead to greater cost savings and faster market entry, making valuable therapies available to patients sooner.

Contact Welocalize Life Sciences for more information about our experience in translating multilingual documents for clinical studies around the globe.