Client Success Story: How a Medical Device Company Cut Translation Costs by 45%

Last Updated December 9, 2020

Saluda Medical saved time and money launching their pioneering pain-relief device on the international market—all thanks to translation memory.

Any form of miscommunication in the medical field can have potentially serious repercussions. This is why medical documentation is written with painstaking precision.

When medical documentation is translated into other languages, the same level of care and attention to detail is essential. Translations must maintain the unique structure, vocabulary, and phrasing of the original medical documentation and convey precisely the same meaning, while juggling legal requirements and other regional restrictions.

So, when medical engineering company Saluda Medical approached Summa Linguae Technologies (SLT) to translate a suite of documentation for one of their pioneering new products, we understood the scale of the task.

The Challenge

Saluda Medical is a global neuromodulation company leading the development and commercialization of data-driven, personalized therapies for patients with chronic pain.

The company’s first product, Evoke®, is a closed-loop spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system designed to treat chronic pain, a condition that affects more than 540 million people globally.

SCS treats the condition by stimulating the spinal cord and altering the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Evoke is designed to optimize pain relief by measuring and recording each patient’s unique response to stimulation, and is designed to make millions of automatic, real-time adjustments per day to maintain a consistent level of therapy delivery for each patient. Evoke is designed to avoid periods of over- and under-stimulation that have historically challenged the performance of other SCS devices.

Saluda Medical asked SLT to translate the following pieces of complex, clinical documentation regarding their Evoke™ system into German, French, and Dutch.

Saluda Medical’s Marketing Communications Coordinator, Courtney Ouidja, describes the challenge:

Courtney Ouidja

Marketing Communications Coordinator, Saluda Medical

“The original English-language documents were the result of a great deal of painstaking work. Every feature, benefit, instruction, and piece of medical terminology had to be examined for any inaccuracy or risk of ambiguity. Recreating the documents in different languages, while not losing any of this precision, is a complex and highly specialized task.”

The Solution

Our solution that was not only fastidious in its approach, it was also highly cost-effective.

An existing database of relevant, translated phrases was used to automatically identify matching groups of words in the source text. Unlike a simple word-for-word conversion, our bespoke Translation Memory (TM) maintains the context of the original version in the final version.

Where a word match was less than 100%, fuzzy matching was used. This is where close matches within the TM are reviewed by a human translator to ensure the correct outcome.

Micheline Freij, Managing Director USA at SLT, explains how a TM can produce such a significant cost saving:

Micheline Freij

Managing Director USA, Summa Linguae Technologies

“Our translation memories consist of a number of project-specific databases containing previously translated sentences, paragraphs, and phrases. When a new document is analyzed, the TM automatically suggests translations from its database, meaning previously translated text need never be translated again. This increases the speed, and therefore reduces the cost, of each new translation project.” 

Using our bespoke TM, we automatically translated 16,545 of the total word count of 28,135 leaving just 8,920 words requiring manual translation. This reduced the time and the cost of the entire process.

The Outcome

Our translation of Saluda Medical’s five documents into German, French, and Dutch ensured:

  • accuracy and conformity throughout all versions
  • 45% cost savings, compared to a translation that does not use a TM

Saluda Medical’s Marketing Communications Coordinator, Courtney Ouidja, was delighted with the results:

Courtney Ouidja

Marketing Communications Coordinator

“Summa Linguae Technologies expertly fulfilled the demands of this highly technical translation. All five documents were translated accurately, with no loss of meaning or change of nuance, and—thanks to the use of the translation memory—very cost-effectively.”

To learn more about how your company can cut medical translation costs without sacrificing quality, check out Summa Linguae’s medical translation services.

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