Using the right software can help create more efficient and even safer medical systems. But with so many options, healthcare providers need to be sure they’re making the right choices for their patients and staff. One important feature that can make the difference is medical software localization.
What is medical software?
Medical software is a broad term that describes the use of computer programs in healthcare. It might be a system that reserves appointments or a platform that captures and stores images of medical scans, for example. Some medical devices use software, too.
This means that medical software has a wide range of users. Good usability is vital for any software, but even more so when that software can save or improve lives.
Medical software around the world
Medical services differ around the world. What is standard practice in one country, might be very different in another, even in neighboring areas.
This could relate to treatments, the patient journey, or more. For example, a study found that hospitalization time for hip fracture surgery averaged 32.5 days in Japan, 24.7 days in South Korea, and 7.1 days in Taiwan. This shows differing practices.
Because there is so much variation in the medical world, software cannot be rolled out globally with a one-size-fits-all approach. The version for the new country and/or region needs careful consideration on both linguistic and cultural levels to make sure it meets the needs of its users. This is called localization.
What is localization?
Software localization is the process of adapting a platform so that it works well for users in a certain geographic area. This often means making changes to language, usability, and functionality. It’s also important to localize anything that accompanies the software, such as user instructions or manuals.
This is a different process to internationalization, which is when software is first prepped for these changes. Internationalization steps might involve checking characters will display properly, separating the code from the text the user sees, and more.
The importance of medical software localization
Localization is the key to rolling out software internationally. It helps users to work confidently, and safely, with software on a day-to-day basis.
Imagine, for example, a medical software company wants to launch its appointment scheduling system in both an Arabic and a French-speaking region. Arabic is a right-to-left language, and this needs to be reflected not only in the way the text is displayed, but also in the layout of buttons, images, menus, and more. Units of measurement may need to change between countries, as well as fonts, and even colors and imagery.
In order to localize well, it’s important to understand how different users will be interacting with the system. In our example, certain features may need to be changed or removed to reflect how it will be used in each area.
How to localize your medical software
Medical software can save healthcare professionals money and time when it works just as it should. With this in mind, we work closely with companies around the world to help them create localized software.
Our team includes native-speaking language experts, IT engineers, project managers, and more, all working to help you build the best possible product in the new language.
Reach out to our team and let us call you back.