The way we communicate about healthcare is extremely important. Using the right terminology can influence decisions, inform treatment plans, and make sure everyone is on the same page. That’s where medical translation services come in.
Languages and the medical industry in 2021
With the global health crisis continuing throughout 2021, many people returned to some type of normal routine. This meant governments updated their national and international advice rapidly.
As hospital admissions fluctuated, more patients once again needed to interact with staff. New medical jargon became part of everyday vocabulary, too.
In short, having access to the latest information was vital.
However, according to the UN, 281 million people were living outside their country of origin in 2020. In 2021, people around the world continued to need access to medical information, whether they speak the local language or not.
Why is professional medical translation important?
Medical interpretation services
A person may be able to communicate confidently in a foreign language for everyday tasks, but they won’t necessarily be able to communicate about complex medical matters as easily.
Meanwhile, relying on the skills of friends, family, and collogues can lead to misunderstandings and errors. Just because a person speaks another language, that does not mean they understand and can convey medical information. Nor does it mean they can convey the information accurately and impartially.
When it comes to healthcare, mistakes can have grave consequences. Hiring a professional interpreter to help is extremely important.
Medical translation services
Automatic translation has come on a long way in recent years. However, as a 2021 study confirms, it is not ready to replace human medical translators.
Findings showed that medical translation accuracy for discharge notes varied greatly between languages, with Spanish at 94% and Armenian at only 55%. This means that if hospital staff used automatic translations for discharge notes, almost half of the information would be incorrect for Armenian patients. In a medical setting, this could be confusing at best and disastrous at worst.
What’s more, some languages don’t have translations for certain scientific or new words. These issues should be handled by a professional with the training to make sure that the meaning is not lost.
Medical translation services trends
- Remote interpreting
Remote interpreting can take place over the phone or via video link. Interpreters may be booked in advance or as needed, providing flexibility.
This was a convenient solution when the world went online. In 2020, interpreters’ income from in-person interpretation dropped while remote interpreting services were boosted.
The CSA predicts that these changes are here to stay, at least in some form, explaining:
While most of the pre-pandemic demand will revert back to its previous mode after things settle, some healthcare, court, and conferences may choose to stick with remote services. Organizations in all areas will discover new use cases that will expand the market potential for the various services – but especially for remote and machine interpreting.
- Translation technologies
Technology influences all areas of the medical translation industry, from the format the client provides the translation in, to the tools the translator uses to complete it. So, as technology changes, so does the industry.
AI translation is advancing, quality assurance tools are improving, and translation management systems are becoming more comprehensive. As these changes take hold, medical translations may become even more efficient and cost effective.
- Medical technologies
Meanwhile, medical tech also influences how medical translators work. For example, the technology used by healthcare professionals needs to be fully understood, no matter the origin of the machine, the destination country, or how complex the equipment is. Medical device translations need to be clear and accurate, providing precise information about highly technical machines, and in the right formats.
Medical translation tips
For healthcare professionals, it’s almost impossible to check the quality of a translation. They can’t be sure whether the meaning is the same, whether there are omissions or misinterpretations. That’s why it’s important to choose a medical translation services provider with experience and training.
At Future Group, we work with highly skilled translation professionals. Our team uses the latest tools and follows tight quality control processes to provide accurate translations for the healthcare industry.