;    Medical Translation Insight - ForeignExchange Translations

25th Life Sciences roundtable at Localization WorldThe 25th edition of Localization World kicked off in Dublin on Tuesday with the Life Science roundtable. With 24 attendees, this was one of the largest roundtables to-date.

A number of topics were discussed ranging from the new trends towards content "digitalization" and what it means to medical translation suppliers. As in the past, there were a number of sessions on technology. The panel on the pros and cons of TMS implementation co-hosted by Aurélie Baechelen of Varian Medical Systems and Sandra La Brasca of ForeignExchange Translations sparked a lively discussion from both the supplier and client side.

There were two separate presentations that focused on the content challenges faced by medical device and pharmaceutical companies and how to address them through focused process analysis and technology. As with previous roundtables, third-party review emerged as an area that remains a challenge for both suppliers and buyers.

Last but not least, there were presentations about the growth of the medical translation market. As one would expect, the consensus was that the BRIC countries seem to be the countries that will see the most growth in the next few years.

While the topics were very diverse, there was a clear theme that emerged from all the discussions: in essence all parties agree that successful projects rely on solid processes, sound technology decisions, and clean data - but first and foremost partnership between buyer and suppliers. This roundtable was very informative and we look forward to the next edition in Vancouver!

ForeignExchange supports the world's leading medical device and pharmaceutical companies with specialized medical translation services for regulatory, clinical, and marketing efforts.

Thursday June 12th, 2014
8:30am Breakfast and Networking
9:00am – 11:00am Presentation and Discussion

Translation is an arcane discipline, where state-of-the-art technology comes together with a very human process. Done well, medical translations can save lives by getting products to market faster with the vital information needed for safe, correct use. But it can be expensive and time-consuming, and translation quality can be difficult to measure. Many people don’t know how it works and myths and misconceptions abound.
This seminar is designed to provide attendees with an overview of how translation works and the key elements you need to consider before you take your product global to ensure budgets and schedules stay in control, and your translated content resonates with your international audience.
For more information or to sign up for our event, please visit our sign up page

30% discount for MemoQ Translator Pro - medical translationAfter using MemoQ server for the past several years, ForeignExchange is now using MemoQ as the primary CAT tool on all translation projects.

This decision came out of a comprehensive review of our tools strategy. As part of this review, we compared several CAT tools on usability, TM compatibility, level of support, QA features, TM server technology and pricing. Based on these criteria, we found MemoQ to be the best fit for us and our needs.

Standardizing around MemoQ makes sense because it is a robust platform that will contribute to our growth as a company and help us serve our drug and device clients by providing greater consistency and faster turn-around times.

And as if that wasn't enough, Kilgray, MemoQ's developer, is fun to work with. During the rollout, Kilgray's team has been open to implementing enhancements that allowed a more seamless integration of MemoQ into ForeignExchange's tool set.

István Lengyel from Kilgray also seems to be happy with the collaboration: "ForeignExchange started using MemoQ early, and they had a big impact on the design of the software - making it fit their specific needs. We also believe that ForeignExchange excels in the way they deployed quality metrics. We are proud to be the vendor to them." Thank you for the kind words, István!

MemoQ is also a terrific choice for medical translation providers. Many of our linguists have already added MemoQ to their arsenal of CAT tools. And now we have a special promotion for those who have not yet bought MemoQ: ForeignExchange is happy to announce that we can offer a discount code for 30-40% off MemoQ Translator Pro. To take advantage of these savings, please fill out this short survey by March 7. On March 10, depending how many people are interested, we will provide you with a code for a 30 to 40% disocunt. The discount code will be valid until March 14. Along with the purchase of MemoQ, you can also access the Online Training Course for Translators free of charge.

Please note, though, that to use this discount, you must have signed up via our survey. This promotion is valid for new MemoQ Translator Pro licenses only. Upgrades are not part of this promotion.

This is a great deal, and we encourage all of our linguistis to take advantage of this time-limited offer!

ForeignExchange Translations provides specialized medical translation services to the world's largest medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

Why partnerships between PRO developers and medical translation providers make senseThe goal of Linguistic Validation of Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) is to achieve linguistic and conceptual equivalence so that data gathered from participants in multinational studies may be pooled across languages and cultures.

A critical component of the linguistic validation process is the creation of a list of concept elaborations during the project preparation stage. The objectives of concept elaborations are to define the instrument's items (questions and/or statements) instructions and response options, highlight potential challenges in translation and suggest solutions wherever possible.

Sample Concept Elaboration

  • Item - I am bothered by headaches
  • Definition - This item seeks to assess if the respondent has had headaches that are disturbing.
  • Potential Translation Challenge -"Bothered" is understood to only mean having in some cultures. The intent of it here is to convey both having the headaches and being disturbed by them.
  • Acceptable Translation Alternative -I have headaches that are disturbing
  • Unacceptable Translation Alternative -I have headaches
Ideally, the instrument's developer (author) would be available to clarify any doubts, thereby eliminating the possibility of misinterpretation of item intent. Without this crucial collaboration, the translation provider must make his or her best educated guess, which is contrary to the objectives of the exercise.

Consider the following items from the same instrument:
  • I am jumpy
  • I am jittery
  • I am on edge
  • I am agitated
All four items are intended to assess the respondent's level of anxiety. However, they are largely synonymous. What are the semantic nuances of each and how does one differentiate between them? One effective strategy is to provide the linguists with a continuum on which the items are listed from "least severe anxiety" to "most severe anxiety". The four "x's" represent the four items, which would be listed in order of severity.

Least Severe Anxiety x_________x__________x__________x Most Severe Anxiety

The developer's input for synonymous terminology is essential to guarantee the intent of each item is defined accurately.

Now, imagine a partnership between developers and translation providers that begins at the time the source items are being created to ensure they have the maximum potential for validity across languages and cultures. The translation provider would perform a translatability review and advise the developer on alternatives for colloquialisms, synonyms, passive language and grammatical structures, which may all pose translation difficulties down the road. A translatability review in conjunction with source item creation would save the study sponsor time and money when both are of the essence.

These partnerships do exist in the industry today; however, additional awareness is needed to promote and nurture them so that they become an integral component of the Linguistic Validation process.

For more on this topic, take a look at the following articles we've written:
ForeignExchange Translations provides specialized medical translation services to the world's largest medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

ForeignExchange Translations announces the results of its annual Client Satisfaction Survey. This year, ForeignExchange again ranked among some of the world’s leading companies like Apple, American Express, Southwest Airlines and Amazon by earning a high Net Promoter Score (NPS) form its clients. Again, the ForeignExchange Customer Satisfaction Survey proved to be exceptionally helpful in identifying company service levels and strengths, as well as areas where ForeignExchange can make improvements.

Survey results indicated that 99% of ForeignExchange clients are willing to refer ForeignExchange Translations to colleagues – up 1% from 2012. In addition, ForeignExchange earned a NPS rank of 49. Andres Heuberger, President and Founder said, “We are very pleased with the ranking we received from our clients this year, but more importantly, the constructive feedback is what will enable ForeignExchange to best meet our clients needs and  maintain lasting partnerships. We remain dedicated to understanding client feedback and working proactively to improve client satisfaction.”

The Client Satisfaction Survey also included project related questions related to effectively explaining and executing on proposals, timely and clear communication, and translation quality.

Download the full report of the Client Satisfaction Survey here: http://info.fxtrans.com/wp-css-2013-report

ForeignExchange Translations provides specialized medical translation services to the world's largest medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

ForeignExchange Translations, Inc., today announced the hire of Dana Weiss, as Director of Linguistic Validation.
Dana Weiss will lead the expansion of ForeignExchange's linguistic validation offering and brings 10 years of extensive expertise within Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs). Dana’s experience includes working with authors of internationally recognized instruments, as well as global teams of linguists and clinicians to validate them into over 50 languages.

Andres Heuberger, president of ForeignExchange said, "We are very excited about on-boarding Dana Weiss, her vast experience in Patient Reported Outcomes and experience working at CORE (Center on Outcomes, Research and Education) will further strengthen ForeignExchange's linguistic validation solution offering.

ForeignExchange Translations provides specialized medical translation services to the world's largest medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

Life sciences group at Localization World takes on convergence, adoption - medical translationThe 2013 fall edition of the Localization World Life Sciences Business Round Table took place October 8th and 9th in Santa Clara this year. The attendees were made up of a mix of client and suppliers and made for a dynamic group.

While a variety of topics were discussed in this edition of the Round Table, convergence and adoption seemed to be the common thread between all the presentations. The opening presentation focused on highlighting the particular challenges faced by life sciences companies in their effort to move to new technologies such as TMS/CMS. This was echoed by a presentation from Ann Rockley which highlighted the benefits of creating a solid and intelligent content strategy to manage and deliver content in a regulated industry.

In addition to the more technology focused presentations, there were numerous discussions around process improvements and changes in the industry. The entire panel discussed the benefits of building strong client/supplier partnerships – an increasingly important factor as projects and programs are becoming more and more complex. While the Round Table traditionally focuses on the needs of the medical device industry, we discussed a possible convergence of regulations between pharma and medical devices in the years to come, as the medical device regulatory agencies are looking to tighten control.Last but not least, we heard about the challenges experienced by development teams and localization teams alike when adapting a product targeted to the medical field to penetrate different markets in Eastern Europe.

The one and half day meeting was very productive and as always sparked a lot of interest and questions, some of these will have to be answered when we meet next in June in Dublin.

ForeignExchange supports the world's leading medical device and pharmaceutical companies with specialized medical translation services for regulatory, clinical, and marketing efforts.

Turning China into a world class pharma market - medical translation
The excitement over the "Chinese opportunity" is palpable. While healthcare reforms are not as fast as one would like, progress is being made.

This is not just second hand information: Just about every one of our clients (drug and device companies alike) lists China at the top of their global growth strategies.

The following graph shows what the excitement is all about:
Turning China into a world class pharma market - medical translation
But as PharmaExecBlog notes, while these incredible growth statistics make China the centerfold in Big Pharma's global playbook lies a sobering fact: registering a new drug for sale in China "is still a slow, dimly lit game of chance".

While an overhaul of the Drug Administration Law is pending and has been cited as a priority by the Chinese government, stakeholders are calling for further changes to modernize China's "dated" regulatory approval system. The wishlist is described in some detail in the PharmaExecBlog article. Much of it centers around transparency - of procedures, around IP issues, and for the entire approval process.

Creating a modern regulatory framework is hard and takes time but pharmaceutical companies - just like medical device manufacturers - are betting that the reforms are real and will happen.

For medical translation professionals, this provides further evidence of the importance of China to drug companies - and medical translators. Now go brush up on your Chinese!

ForeignExchange Translations provides specialized medical translation services to the world's largest medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

One-Minute Medical School

Medical translation isn't for everybody. But among those translators who want to specialize in medical translations, the most common question is "How do I learn more about medical topics?".

Now there is a new resource for us: Dr. Rob Tarzwell's One-Minute Medical School, where "medical topics are broken down so the key point is presented understandably in sixty seconds."

What a great concept! Simple 1 or 2 minute videos that give you more insight than an hour-long class. So check out Dr. Tarzwell's web site or YouTube channel for videos like this one on chicken pox and shingles:

[Hat tip to Lucas Vogt!]

If you have time, take a look at these other resources:

ForeignExchange Translations provides specialized medical translation services to the world's largest medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

Medical device companies push to consolidate supplier base (medical translation)Modern business thinking states that reducing the number of suppliers you deal with offers distinct advantages: companies can reduce headcount and negotiate lower prices thanks to a consolidated spend.

Medical device companies have been busy rationalizing their supply base for years. Initially the focus was on "widgets" but over the past few years, procurement groups have turned to consolidate their service suppliers.

For most device companies, translation spend is relatively small and procurement instead focused on other, larger services - but this is now changing. Category managers are formulating, often for the first time, procurement strategies for the purchase of language translations. But once they start looking, they often find a hot mess.

It is not uncommon for a company to use many hundreds of translation suppliers. Even in situations where an "approved supplier list" exists, there are usually a multitude of geographies, departments, and individuals who don't know about or disagree with the "approved" suppliers. Because typical medical device companies are made up of various acquired businesses, systems and procedures may vary greatly across the organization.

At ForeignExchange we have experienced this first-hand. A decade ago, RFPs were rare. Now they are common place. And clients are working harder to leverage suppliers' expertise.

All of this was exemplified in Edwards Lifesciences' EMEA group of ForeignExchange (see press release here). Their U.S. group had been working with us for several years. While their EMEA translation spend is managed separately, the groups nonetheless coordinated efforts and identified savings opportunities from working with us in both geographies. Other clients are going even further. Several are formulating strict "you are only allowed use approved suppliers" rules and are strictly enforcing those rules globally.

For medical translation providers, this trend represents a double-edged sword: If you get selected, you stand to benefit from significantly larger volume (albeit at somewhat lower prices). But if you don't make the cut, it will take many years of sustained efforts to try and get back in. It also creates a chicken-and-the-egg problem: A company won't get selected without demonstrating extensive medical translation expertise - but how do you gain that expertise if you can't win clients?

It will be interesting to see how far the pendulum will swing. In the mean time, medical translators better beef up their client management and RFP response teams.

ForeignExchange Translations provides specialized medical translation services to the world's largest medical device and pharmaceutical companies.


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