ISO Certifications and the Value of Risk-Based, Process-Driven Thinking

The life sciences industry operates in a world of regulations. These regulations govern the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical devices to help protect their safety and efficacy, the patients that use them, and the people who produce them. For life sciences companies, compliance with the myriad of regulations established by HIPPA, EMA, IRBs, FDA, GCP, among others, is a daily endeavor. Compliance, quality and safety are all reasons to consider the ISO certifications of your vendors. Specifically, what is the presence or absence of ISO certifications, as well as how do your vendors demonstrate adherence?

ISO certifications should be considered because they ensure that vendors have a documented Quality Management System (QMS). However, beyond ISO standards, your vendor’s compliance points to an organization that values risk-based thinking and a process-driven approach—all of which are important in highly regulated industries.

The New Era of Global Compliance for Language Service Providers

According to International Standards Organization, international standards give world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency. ISO has published 22,150 international standards and related documents, covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare.

Hugo Riu, Quality and Training Director at Welocalize Life Sciences, shares what ISO certifications the company holds, why they are relevant to life sciences companies, and how a risk-based, process-driven approach is important.

Q: Why is Compliance with ISO 17100 is an essential requirement for language service providers (LSPs) working with life sciences clients?

A: All clinical research clients require certified translations, which is an industry requirement. During audits and regulatory health authority inspections, clinical research clients (whether pharmaceutical companies or CROs) must prove that translations have been carried out by fully qualified linguists, and that the translation has been reviewed by a second independent translator. ISO 17100 compliance gives our clinical research and other regulated clients the guarantee that our translations are endorsed by a standardized process which allows certification. The application of this standard affects the whole company, but especially the customer service and production department, on one side, as it establishes the mandatory steps in the translation process, from management of client requests to delivery and post-production activities. It also has an important impact on the vendor management team, as the minimal education/training requirements of translators and revisers are defined. Our linguist requirements not only comply with this standard, they actually exceed the requirements.

Beyond ISO standards, your vendor’s compliance points to an organization that values risk-based thinking and a process-driven approach—all of which are important in highly regulated industries. Click To Tweet

Q: Does Welocalize Life Sciences have any industry-specific certifications? If so, what and why?

A: Yes, in addition to ISO 17100, Welocalize Life Sciences holds ISO 13485 certification. This certification puts a higher emphasis on risk assessment of all processes related to labeling of medical devices following scales of probability and severity of the potential risk. It also puts a higher emphasis on corrective actions, as they are mandatory following a client complaint (unless a valid justification is documented in writing explaining why a corrective action is not necessary). Also, it makes it mandatory to comply with all the medical device regulations, which may affect the labeling and therefore have an impact on the translations.

Q: What about ISO 9001? It isn’t specific to language services or a particular industry, so why should it matter?

A: ISO 9001 certification ensures a framework which ensures a continual improvement process based on plan-do-check-act cycle. This is important for highly regulated industries such as pharma companies, where issue management and resolution is of the upmost importance, including management of corrective actions and assessment of their efficacy. The new version, ISO 9001:2015 puts a higher focus on risk assessment and on management involvement.

Q: What is the value of an organization that practices a risk-based, process-driven thinking throughout its organization?

A: Risk-based thinking is important to be able to detect in a proactive way potential problems before they occur and launch preventive actions. Welocalize Life Sciences schedules periodic meetings involving key roles from several departments to assess potential risks in processes and then make decisions on how to mitigate the risk, especially in relation to patient-facing materials, and enable the delivery of the highest quality to life sciences clients.

ISO compliance is not limited to the Quality team, but every member of the company has to be suitably trained on the ISO requirements relevant for their job position and work in an ISO compliant way on a day-to-day basis. The Quality team is responsible for ensuring that the procedures and processes that employees use in their daily work are consistent with ISO requirements. We help the team to achieve this through the maintenance of suitable documentation in the QMS and detecting and helping to solve any deviations.”

At Welocalize Life Sciences, our regulated clients audit us on a regular basis. Having ISO certifications, and implementing the system requirements across all levels of the organization, allows us to be able to meet their requirements by having fully documented processes and a continual improvement system.

Ultimately, the goal is the same for both clients and their vendors — customer satisfaction, and consistent, conforming (quality) goods or services.

Here are three upcoming opportunities to meet our team and discuss the benefit of risk-based, process driven thinking and the role it plays to enable clinical trial and vendor/client success:

  • 1-4 October | 2018 RAPS Regulatory Convergence (Vancouver, British Columbia) Booth #706
  • 30-31 October | DIA Annual Canadian Meeting (Ontario, Canada) Presenting in the Digital Track
  • 27-29 November |  (Barcelona, Spain) – Booth (TBD)

Contact us to schedule a meeting at these events to find out how Welocalize Life Sciences can help you manage highly regulated content in multiple languages.

Why Linguistic Validation is Important for Clinical Research Translations

Whether it is marketing a new medical device or putting a new drug on the market, the life sciences sector requires highly technical approaches when it comes to translating regulatory content for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, healthcare and clinical research companies.

For clinical research, patient-reported outcomes (PROs) play an integral role in whether a device or medication makes it to market. They provide valuable information that can impact the validity of a clinical trial. For this reason, PROs must undergo one of the most rigorous quality assurance processes called linguistic validation.

Katrina Honer, Senior Project Manager at Welocalize Life Sciences, shares why additional quality and accuracy assurances may be necessary for clinical research translation projects and how the process is conducted.

What It Is

Linguistic validation combines both translation and localization to investigate the reliability and validity of PROs measures. It is an extra step taken to ensure quality translations for highly sensitive, regulated documents and materials.

Why Linguistic Validation is Important

There are several instruments that can be used to obtain PROs and questionnaires are one of the most popular. Linguistic validation comes into play by ensuring what the translated questionnaire states in the target language accurately conveys the same meaning as the original source questionnaire. This involves a series of quality assurance checks to verify the translations are as linguistically and culturally accurate as possible. There are serious implications such as an entire trial being invalidated if proper data collection was not done due to ambiguous or incorrect translations.

The Process

Linguistic Validation encompasses several translation steps and either a Clinician Review, a Focus Group or both. All linguists involved are certified, native speakers of the target language being translated into and experts in the field of study. Here are the complete steps:

Step 1: Translatability Assessment

This is an optional service that Welocalize Life Sciences provides before translation begins. A linguist native of the target language being translated and an expert in the field of study analyzes the source questionnaire for clarity. Based on their findings, a discussion with the client is initiated to obtain suitable alternatives and options for ambiguous wording and phrases.

Step 2: Forward translation

Next, two independently working translators will translate the questionnaire into the target language producing two translated versions.

Step 3: Reconciliation

The two forward translations are then reviewed and reconciled by an independent editor and an additional proofreader into a single forward translation.

Step 4: Back translation

The reconciled translation is then back translated into the Original Source language by an independent editor and proofreader who did not work on the either the forward or reconciliation step.

Step 5: Equivalency stage

At this stage, the back translation is compared to the original Source questionnaire to ensure there are no discrepancies. The reconciliation team and the back-translation team will ensure to correct any mistranslations, omissions and additions that impact the originally intended meaning of the Source to produce the finalized version for linguistic validation.

Step 6: Linguistic Validation via Clinician’s Review or Cognitive Debriefing

At this stage, the finalized questionnaire will either undergo:

  • Clinician review: Reviewed by an in-country clinician in the country intended for use. The clinician will summarize a report of proposed clarifications and/or clarifications for consideration.
  • Cognitive debriefing via focus group: Questionnaire is tested on a small sample of individuals native in the target language and of various ages and education levels. A moderator (a linguist native in the target language) who conducts the focus group will document the participants’ responses and summarize a report of proposed clarifications and/or clarifications for consideration.
  • Both a clinician review followed by cognitive debriefing.

Step 7: Final Translation Revision

The reconciliation translation team and back translation team will revise the translated questionnaire based on potential discrepancies identified in either the Clinician Review report or Focus Group report. These finalized versions are then used in the clinical trial.

When medical and clinical materials are translated, it is not just accuracy but also fluency of the overall content that matters. Welocalize Life Sciences’ translation, back translation and comparative review process ensures your investigator, regulatory and patient-facing documents are appropriate, accurate, consistent and compliant. Contact us for more information.

 

Translation and the Growing Trend of Patent Filings in Latin America

Filing patent applications internationally is expensive and translation represents a significant proportion of that expense. Every organization with an international patent strategy can benefit from gaining visibility into their patent translation expenditures and working with capable partners to consolidate that spend and take control.  The benefits include lower costs, more efficiency and higher patent quality. Latin America offers a great example of how those benefits are realized.

Welocalize Life Sciences recently interviewed Matthew Sekac, Senior Director of Sales Strategy at Park IP Translations, a Welocalize company, to discuss translation requirements in Latin America and why they matter.

Q: Why does translating patents into Spanish multiple times waste money and increase risk?

MS: For a start the official language of most Latin American countries is Spanish.  Unfortunately, many organizations are routinely paying to translate patent applications into Spanish multiple times when filing in multiple Latin American countries.  It is simple enough to see why. If translation is seen as a non-severable component of filing an application in each country, and a different local patent firm in each country is engaged to execute the whole process, then each firm will prepare its own translation as part of its usual duties.

In Latin America that means understanding that while there are sometimes slight variations in formal requirements, only one Spanish translation of an application text is necessary. Paying for more than one translation needlessly multiplies filing expenses.  In addition, it potentially introduces risk; by commissioning separate Spanish translations prepared by separate translators according to separate processes, the result is very likely to be separate issued texts in the same language with substantive disparities that could be raised in the event of litigation.

Avoiding this sort of redundant expenditure isn’t completely straightforward.  Many Latin American countries are not members of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.  This means that applicants seeking protection in Argentina and Mexico, for example, must first file a Spanish application in Argentina within 12 months of the priority date, and then file a separate Spanish application in Mexico 18 months later, assuming the applicant is filing a PCT National Phase application.

To manage the whole process efficiently, there needs to be a system in place for ensuring that a Spanish translation is properly stored, the opportunity to leverage that translation is easily identified, and the delivery of that translation to the appropriate agent(s) at a later point is streamlined.

Several Latin American countries also have some of the most complex and costly translation requirements in the world.  Argentina, Venezuela, and Uruguay, for example, require translations of all priority documents to be submitted in the form of locally “sworn” hard copies.  To some extent this is an unavoidable expense, but a savvy provider with the right resources can minimize these costs by leveraging shared text between the priority and main application and channeling the process through a lean production infrastructure.

Q: Why is the length and word count of a patent application an important consideration?

MS: A disproportionate share of non-resident applications filed in Latin American countries are filed by life science companies, and life science applications tend to be considerably larger than the applications filed by organizations in any other industry. Not only do life science companies file the most applications in Latin America, they spend the most money on translation for each one.

Park IP Translations conducted an analysis over 220,000 patent applications filed at the USPTO between October 2011 and June of 2012 in an effort to better understand the relative translation costs faced by organizations from various industries when pursuing international patent protection.  We started by separating the applications into six major categories using each application’s US classification code and the categorization methodology developed in a 2001 paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research (Hall, B. H., A. B. Jaffe, and M. Trajtenberg (2001). “The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools.” NBER Working Paper 8498). We then looked at the word count distribution of applications in each category.

Most in the patent industry are probably generally aware that pharmaceutical and biotechnology applications tend to be the longest. This data helps bring the extent of that phenomenon into stark relief.  Applications in the “Drugs & Medical” category, (sub-classed “Biotechnology”, “Drugs”, “Miscellaneous Drgs&Med” and “Surgery & Med Inst.”) are more than 54% larger on average than the sample as a whole, and nearly 44% larger than the next largest category of “Computers & Communications”.  Since translation costs are virtually always driven by the amount of text in the source document, this means that applicants in the “Drugs & Medical” category face by far the highest costs when filing for patent protection abroad.

Moreover, applications from the “Drugs & Medical” category are also much more likely to be extremely large. What this means for applicants in this category is that any given application has a far greater likelihood of carrying a massive price tag for international filing.  Industry giants might not flinch at $250,000 to translate a single patent without any guarantee of protection; however, for smaller organizations it can be a major challenge.

Given that, and given the expenses faced by those organizations, it is extremely to be proactively engaged in managing the translation component of your international portfolio strategy, especially in Latin America. Doing so leads to lower costs, lower risk, higher quality and more control.

Contact us for more information about patent filings in Latin America. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Global Communicator, for more on this topic.

Five Life Sciences Industry Trends for 2018

Every industry goes through changes over time and the life sciences industry is no exception. However, it does show distinct industry-specific characteristics, such as the continuation of similar trends year-after-year and a slower pace of change.

Here are five continued, emerging and forward-thinking trends Welocalize Life Sciences has identified for 2018:

  1. Competition from outside. In recent years, technology companies such as Google, Apple and IBM have entered the space, and we expect this to continue in 2018. According to this article in October, Amazon is the newest tech giant to investigate entry into healthcare and pharmaceuticals. “Amazon sees hundreds of billions of dollars there for the taking, not to mention an opportunity to reinvent an industry. That it’s experimenting with ways to enter healthcare shouldn’t come as a surprise,” commented William Martino, managing director of Wunderman Health New York, in a recent column for MM&M. Why are technology companies interested in the life sciences and healthcare industries? How are these companies altering the space? VentureClash sheds some light on the topic.
  2. Increased partnership transparency. As sponsors increasingly engage contract research organizations (CROs) in the drug development process, relationships are becoming more strategic. According to Contract Pharma, sponsors also seek data and analytics for trial insights and design, drug development planning, medical affairs and regulatory consulting from CROs.  One critical components of a successful sponsor/CRO partnership is transparency. Enter technology. To help increase transparency and improve study communication, Welocalize Life Sciences has developed a proprietary Clinical Trial Portal. Here, drug companies can check the status of their trials, real-time. Find out more about this solution.
  3. Geo-targeted social media and mobile marketing. A continuing trend for the coming year is the use of social media for patient recruitment and awareness. But, marketers are shifting to geographic-specific social media and mobile marketing strategies. Geo-targeting is the ability to reach subjects or patients in the specific area, generally within a specific radius such as 25 miles.  Outsourcing Pharma explains why researchers see Twitter and other social media platforms as viable options for stimulating interest and enrollment in clinical trials. Find out more about geo-targeting and the options available.
  4. Preparation for EMA Regulation. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) Regulation (EU) No 536/2014 on clinical trials on medicinal products for human use was postponed from a 2018 roll-out to 2019. However, in 2018 companies will be preparing for the forthcoming changes, one of which is the inclusion of a Lay Summary. Translation into all European languages will be required. There is a guideline document, which includes several strict requirements (e.g. readability tests including syllable count, sentence length, etc.). Read our overview of the guidelines and requirements for drafting summaries of clinical trial results for laypersons.
  5. More mergers. In the coming years, the life sciences industry will continue to face a wide range of pressures—from regulatory to economic. Keeping pace with the changes, according to research and consulting firm Deloitte, will require “alternative business models, additional skills, greater efficiencies, new paths to innovation and creative strategies for growth.” The firm contends that much of this can be achieved by adopting new collaborative business models, including mergers and acquisitions, to “increase capabilities and expand geographic footprints.”

Welocalize Life Sciences has helped companies reduce translation costs, prepare for EMA Regulatory changes and improve trial transparency. Contact us for more information on our language services for highly regulated industries.

 

The Unitary Patent’s Language Requirements: A Deep Dive

After decades of fitful effort, the European Patent with Unitary Effect (“EPUE” or “Unitary Patent”) still looks set to become reality—eventually at least.  There have been complicating developments over the past year in the UK and Germany that threaten to prolong the start of the Unitary Patent a while longer.

Legal challenges brought by Italy and Spain have been defeated, and Italy joined earlier this year.  That leaves Spain and Croatia as holdouts, along with Poland, which signed on initially, but has indicated that it will not ratify the agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC), effectively withdrawing participation.

When Matt Sekac, Senior Director at Welocalize and Park IP, Welocalize’s legal language services provider, first wrote on this subject in 2016, there were still details to be worked out and final ratifications were still pending, but the indications were that the Unitary Patent could “open for business” as early as 2017.  Now 2017 is almost over and even a 2018 kickoff for the Unitary Patent remains uncertain.  In this blog post, Matt takes a close look at the Unitary Patent’s language requirements and their impact on life sciences companies.

Language Requirements: A Deep Dive

Patent protection is a core business interest for R&D-driven life science companies; that these organizations tend to pursue the broadest scope of patent coverage is widely recognized. Life sciences patent applications tend to contain the highest volume of text for translation.  As such, the Unitary Patent’s language requirements are worth a closer look.

The issue of language was a major obstacle to the Unitary Patent and a central argument in Spain’s failed challenge before the EU’s Court of Justice.  Spain argued that “the contested regulation establishes a language arrangement which is prejudicial to individuals whose language is not one of the official languages of the EPO,” because they may be subject to sanction and damages for infringing patents that are not available in their country’s official language.

The EPO’s website implicitly acknowledges this concern: “the current requirement for translations… will be a thing of the past. But inventors will still be able to obtain patent texts in their own languages” using the EPO’s machine translation tool, “Patent Translate.”  The importance of this technology is expressed in the text of the Unitary Patent regulations (emphasis added):

In order to promote the availability of patent information and the dissemination of technological knowledge, machine translations … into all official languages of the Union should be available as soon as possible … Machine translations are a key feature of European Union policy. Such machine translations should serve for information purposes only and should not have any legal effect.

There is an apparent tension between those last two sentences. High-quality machine translations are key to ensuring that economic actors have a reasonable means of accessing and understanding texts that confer rights on the community. But at the same time, machine translations should not have any legal effect—presumably because they cannot be relied upon to completely and accurately convey the complex and nuanced language of patents. Sure enough, machine translations generated by the EPO’s “Patent Translate” engine contain this disclaimer:

This translation is machine-generated. It cannot be guaranteed that it is intelligible, accurate, complete, reliable or fit for specific purposes. Critical decisions, such as commercially relevant or financial decisions, should not be based on machine-translation output.

Thus, economic operators whose language is not one of the EPO’s official languages will continue to have access to patent information and technical knowledge—but it will not necessarily be “intelligible, accurate, complete, reliable or fit for critical decisions.” Cast in that light, Spain’s objections look rather sympathetic.

The other side of the argument is that these concerns look much more problematic in theory than they actually are in practice. As the Court observed, “patents are generally administered by patent attorneys, who are familiar with other languages of the European Union.” Most organizations and individuals interacting with the patent system have functional knowledge of English, French or German.  Moreover, only a small proportion of European patent applications are currently translated into any language outside of the official three.  And to be fair, machine translation isn’t quite being sold as a panacea; the goal is to enable everyone to get an idea for which patents might be relevant to their activities and merit further investigation.

The prevailing view is that Spain’s concerns do not outweigh the legitimate interests served by the Unitary Patent, but they have not gone entirely ignored.  “In order to protect economic operators who do not have a means of understanding…one of the official languages of the EPO,” the Council included provisions to ensure that “such operators, where they are suspected of infringement” will be able to obtain “a full translation” of the patent, and:

In the event of a dispute concerning a claim for damages, the court… should take into consideration the fact that, before having been provided with a translation in his own language, the alleged infringer may have acted in good faith and may have not known or had reasonable grounds to know that he was infringing the patent.

This suggests the possibility that the EPO’s machine translations might prove to be material after all.  If a lack of means for understanding patent texts in English, French or German is a viable defense against infringement claims, and it cannot be shown that an alleged infringer had such means, then the only basis for knowledge of a patent’s contents would be the EPO’s machine translation.  And if that machine translation contains errors material to the allegedly infringing activities, then damages might be off the table.  The criteria for determining “good faith”—or the exact consequences of such determination—are unclear.

This scenario will surely be rare, but it might merit consideration when patent protection is of critical importance.  As a translation provider, we obviously have a special interest in this aspect of the Unitary Patent, but these finer points may offer some broader insight into the consequences of a major new initiative, and the uncertainty those consequences might create.

Read more about the Unitary Patent’s impact on life sciences companies in the October issue of our Global Communicator.

Find out more about our two decades of language services experience in the life sciences and legal industries in Europe.

Thanksgiving Holiday Traditions in the United States

Every fourth Thursday of November in the United States, an important holiday is celebrated: Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest travel holidays during the year. Nearly 51 million people will travel 50 miles or more this holiday weekend to be with family and friends, according to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Welocalize would like to send thanks and best wishes to all our clients, employees, colleagues and partners all over the world! As part of this year’s celebrations, here are some Thanksgiving facts and traditions:

  1. Thanksgiving Day was officially proclaimed by President Abraham Lincolnin 1863 and in 1941 it was officially declared by the United States Congress as a holiday.
  1. At Thanksgiving, families get together for a celebration meal. It is often traditional to offer a prayer of thanks for the good things that happen before the meal. The main dish in this dinner is typically turkey, accompanied by side dishes such as sweet potatoes, breadcrumb stuffing and cranberry sauce. Let’s not forget the desserts, like pecan pie, apple pie and the famous pumpkin pie!
  1. Macy’s department store in New York City organizes a huge parade through the streets of Manhattan, attracting millions of people each year to see the enormous giant balloons and watch performances by guest artists. It is billed as the world’s largest parade. Other parades also take place in different cities throughout the United States.
  1. Another Thanksgiving Day tradition is football—whether playing catch with friends and family or watching the top National Football League (NFL) teams on television.
  1. Thanksgiving is also celebrated throughout the year in other parts of the world. In Canada, it is celebrated every second Monday of October. Similar festivities are also celebrated in Germany, Japan, Liberia and Vietnam.

Some Little-Known Facts About Thanksgiving Turkey….

According to the National Turkey Federation, 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day. In the United States alone, around 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving Day, which equates to one-fifth of the total number of turkeys consumed every year in the United States (254 million in total).

For more than 30 years, the turkey experts that make up the Turkey Talk-Line at Butterball® have been answering turkey-related questions during the holiday season. Open every November and December, 50+ experts answer more than 100,000 questions. For the past few years, the talk-line has offered Spanish-speaking experts, social media support and live online chats. You can send them texts, too.

Each year, a few hours before Thanksgiving dinner, the President of the United States pardons a turkey. This lucky turkey is guaranteed to spend its life living freely and never to end up on a dinner plate. This ceremony dates back to 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was the first to organize an event to pardon the life of a turkey. But it wasn’t until 1987 that President Ronald Reagan instituted the turkey pardon as a custom and since then it has continued. 

For Welocalize, as a multinational company, some holidays are “local” and some are global. On November 23 and 24, our U.S. offices will be closed as employees spend time with their friends and families.

Welocalize would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Five Tips for Global Content Marketers in the Life Sciences Industry

Aging populations worldwide, coupled with extended life expectancy, create a sustainable demand for healthcare, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. To reach patients in new and emerging markets, Welocalize Life Sciences shares five ways content marketers can achieve greater success in the localization of branded and digital content.

    1. Create usercentric websites. Incorporating auto-navigational functions on a website will automatically ensure a site’s content is localized for the correct country without a user having to select a language. This contributes to the visitor’s ease of use and seamless access to information available on the website in their language.
    2. Adapt and transcreate. Global, multilingual marketing campaigns are complex. There are many reasons why the process can be challenging. For example, languages vary widely in text length when translated making adaptation of the layout to suit different devices an additional consideration. In addition, translation alone is not always enough to convey the same meaning in another language. Instead, transcreation is involved to adapt the content, images and product to the local market.
    3. Localize logos and symbols. The average consumer is exposed to thousands of forms of brand impressions per day—from billboards to pop-up ads. This highlights the importance of having a logo that stands out from the crowd. If a company name is part of the logo, make sure it will be successful in other markets. A name may need to be altered or translated to resonate and not offend. Here are some examples of global branding blunders committed by some very well-known global companies. According to Doctor Multimedia, medical logos tend to be represented through the colors blue, green, black, grey and white to communicate formality, trust, professionalism and cleanliness. Colors and symbols can have different meanings from region to region. Find out what colors mean across cultures.
    4. Collect data, carefully. Data can be collected for numerous reasons such as helping to place patients in the correct clinical trials. Although successful data collection can prove successful for future marketing needs globally, rules and regulations must be adhered to for the sake of the consumer and business. Research is vital, but so is patient confidentiality, so the collection and storage of data must be secure and follow regulations of the given country. Important: Within the European Union, Directive 95/ 46/ EC states collecting and processing personal data of individuals can only be allowed under certain circumstances. Know each country’s data collection and privacy laws.
    5. Get social. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social and rich media outlets, customers and patients have a multitude of forums to find out about products and services. The rapidly evolving social networking landscape provides an open playing field for consumers to access your materials across global, cultural and linguistic lines. Social media is also increasingly becoming a useful and valuable tool for clinical trial recruitment through engaging with online patient populations. The reality for global marketers is that much of the world is engaged in social media channels. According to a study conducted by The Nielsen Company, the reach and usage of social networking and blog sites in Brazil, Italy, Spain and Japan has surpassed the United States and United Kingdom. However, Countries such as Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and China may be more difficult to reach as many social sharing sites are blocked or restricted. Tip: The Welocalize Global Guide for Content Marketers offers some quick references, fun facts and easy tips to help global marketers begin the journey into driving awareness, expanding reach, and effectively engaging a “local” audience around the world.

For any successful marketing initiative, content must be available in the languages expected by the target audience and should be localized.  The patient or consumer must be able to easily find the information in which they require, in the language in which is needed, and then be able to purchase products or services successfully via a working payment service.

With some careful forethought, active listening and experienced partners to assist you, capturing a global—and local—voice through content marketing is doable, if not a must, to remain competitive.

Contact us for a free, no obligation quote of your advertising, marketing and website translation projects.

Welocalize Thanks Global Translators All Over the World

Happy International Translation Day!

September 30 is officially International Translation Day and a day that Welocalize celebrates, sending good wishes to all translators around the world. In 2016, Welocalize translators and linguists processed over 1.16 billion words into 175 languages and 400+ language pairs for global organizations all over the world.

International Translation Day is a day which has been celebrated since 1991, in honor of Jerome of Stridon, translator of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin and patron saint of translators. This celebration has been promoted by the International Federation of Translators (FIT) to show the solidarity of the translator community across the world, and to promote this profession which is crucial for globalization and communication between different cultures.

The idea was conceived in 1953 by FIT and in 1991, FIT launched a plan for the day to be officially recognized. On May 24, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly declared September 30 as International Translation Day. It recognized that the role of professional translation is fundamental in defending the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, connecting and bringing together nations, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation and promoting peace and safety among all peoples of the world.

As the seventh largest language service provider in the world*, Welocalize is proud to honor and celebrate this day with the brilliant translators and linguists all over the world that we have the pleasure of working with. Welocalize was founded in 1997 and started with the translation of a single word, “Pathfinder”. Twenty years have passed since then, and this year, Welocalize is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Welocalize would like to wish all translators a happy International Translation Day 2017!

We want to thank you for your great work and for supporting brands on their global journey, connecting people in all corners of the world.

*Welocalize is ranked 7th largest language service provider in the world and 4th largest in North America, Common Sense Advisory Research, “Who’s Who in Language Services and Technology: 2017 Rankings”

Written by Adriana Martín, Welocalize Global Marketing Team

Localization Facilitates Global Business

Global, multilingual marketing campaigns are complex. There are many reasons why the process can be challenging. For example, languages vary widely in text length when translated making adaptation of the layout to suit different devices an additional consideration. In addition, translation alone is not always enough to convey the same meaning in another language. Instead, transcreation is involved to adapt the content, images and product to the local market.

Several technology solutions are available to help navigate the process of global content creation and translation, including content management systems (CMS), digital asset management systems (DAMS) and translation management systems (TMS). These systems are the bedrock of multilingual marketing programs.  They help optimize efficiency and streamline the workflow and are also increasingly being integrated and packaged together by language services providers (LSPs).

This post takes a closer look at the tools and techniques available to global biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare organizations for managing multilingual marketing programs at this level of complexity and scale.

Choose an appropriate CMS. A good CMS is the starting point for any global digital marketer. There are many choices out there today, all with very attractive pitches. Discussing the features of a good CMS and how to choose one will go beyond this article’s scope and length. Building a secure and professional looking website that can display effectively on desktop, tablet and mobile requires a certain amount of knowledge and experience. Apply that to a global life sciences organization that requires multilingual and multi-user support and the complexity and expertise needed increases exponentially. Marketing managers should make the decision based on the advice of an experienced and unbiased digital marketer who can choose the best CMS based on the needs and budget of the organization.

Involve local stakeholders from the start. With the right tool in place, the right team comes next. While brand and message strategy should come from the top via a global team to ensure consistency, localization input and execution should involve local stakeholders from the start to avoid costly errors. This is especially important in the life sciences industry where the marketing of drugs and devices is regulated differently depending on the region or country. Your LSP should also have experience in the industry and the region where the product or drugs are being marketed.

Centralize the translation process. Even the biggest pharmaceutical company with in-house localization teams will require outsourcing to stay nimble and flexible in production capacity and costs. The best strategy is to work with an LSP on a long-term basis and centralize the translation process. By maintaining a centralized translation memory and terminology database, organizations save time and money and realize greater translation consistency. The LSP should also have life sciences industry experience and the ability to ramp-up to meet large projects or tight turnaround times. For more information on how to select an LSP, click here.

Contact us if you’re in need of translation services, including transcreation and localization of your global marketing messages. Read the Welocalize Global Guide for Content Marketers for quick references and easy tips to help begin the journey of effectively engaging a “local” audience around the world.

This article was updated for the life sciences industry. Read the original post here.