Category Archives: Industry Trends

Have Device Marketers Solved Twitter’s 140-Character Limitation?

twitter-logoVery interesting article on Pharma MedTech Insights about Twitter advertising via promoted video. To borrow a phrase, it seems that the rumors of Twitter’s death for medical device marketing may have been greatly exaggerated.

Of course, who could blame industry marketers for moving on after FDA’s draft guidance: Internet/Social Media Platforms with Character Space Limitations – Presenting Risk and Benefit Information for Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices (catchy title, right?)

Now, with the advent this summer of promoted video, device makers may finally have a way to utilize Twitter that still complies with the Agency’s disclosure requirements.

The Elocate video is remarkable for a few reasons. Not only is it effective and compliant, it makes use of the old sales strategy “tell more to sell more”: production processes that may seem commonplace (even boring) to industry can be novel and interesting for consumers. Beer manufacturers famously used this approach at the dawn of advertising when describing common brewing processes and ingredients. The first person to tell the story owns it!

Even more interesting, you can add overseas markets to your feed when you localize (translate) your videos – voiceover is the best approach (don’t you just hate trying to read subtitles on a tiny phone screen?) Coincidentally, video localization is among our fastest growing service categories – maybe manufacturers are getting ready to go global with the video solution to Twitter’s character-limit challenge? We’ll see.

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What Does P&G’s Ad Agency Switch Say About Digital Labeling and Translation Analytics?

Interesting piece on APM’s Marketplace program (here) about the increasing importance of analytics in digital advertising. Surprise, surprise! Companies want to save money and increase productivity and, in this regard, digital media analytics (aka metrics) have been branded “transformational”.

There’s a very similar movement afoot in the translation industry. For starters, translation management systems (like GlobalLink Project Director) have been helping device manufacturers get a better handle on their translation metrics for several years now. Reports generated from TM leverage and review statistics help demonstrate reuse savings and increase translation review productivity, for example.

The next step in this (r)evolution is end-to-end digital labeling and translation analytics – a strategy that ties together translation management systems with component content management systems and guided authoring tools to maximize reuse and compliance, minimize content costs and translation turnaround…oh yeah, and metrics. Lots and lots of metrics.

Emergent Innovation or The Benefits of Content Management Without the Risk

modular deviceInnovation takes many forms. In rare cases, it’s creation from scratch, completely novel, utterly unpredicted. More commonly, it’s a union of existing elements, combined in some new or unique way and adjusted for a specific purpose. When applied to biological systems, this is called “emergence” – a higher-level system emerges from a set of lower-level components. Many medical device innovations follow this pattern.  Here’s an example from one of our clients – a device that keeps a heart beating (that’s right, when you see it live, the heart is in there, pumping away: incredible) so that it can be transported over longer distances for a life saving transplant. All of the components of this remarkable device existed before they were combined in this specific manner and for this specific purpose: emergence-based innovation. The benefit of an “emergent systems” approach like this is that it reduces risk – of course, there’s the overall risk of the emergent system to consider – but the basis for the system is proven and reliable.

TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions takes a similar approach – we’ve combined validated XML publishing technology with guided authoring capabilities and translation process automation (including online translation review) to produce what we call “The EnCompass System” for labeling automation – a system that can eliminate over +50% of the cost of a traditional, document-based labeling systems: emergence-based innovation! And, our approach has the benefit of lower risk because the modules that make up the EnCompass System have been validated by the world’s leading medical device manufacturers.

The EnCompass System is tomorrow’s content management solution today – and based on industry standards (DITA/XML) so your content won’t be held hostage by proprietary formats.

Reports of Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

For years, the device industry has lamented declining VC investment, leading to a decrease in new-company formation, innovation and the like. Well, to paraphrase the popular Mark Twain misquote, “reports of the death of medical device venture investment have been greatly exaggerated” According to FierceMedicalDevices:

 “This year, medical device venture fundraising could actually increase for the first time since 2007. That’s driven by the increasingly connected healthcare environment. VCs are going wild for digital health, the promise of convergence between our healthcare systems and all the mobile, cloud, wireless and wearable technologies you could possibly imagine.”

 This convergence of multiple disciplines requires a solutions approach to content management and translations – a key reason that EnCompass was created. Different content types require different treatment in translation, e.g. medical resources for anatomical content, computer/IT resources for software-related content…and testing/verification services for the finished device software.

VC investment in the device industry is focused on digital health – and these new software/hardware/network devices require an integrated approach to content management and linguistic QC that spans a number of technologies and disciplines – not just medical/anatomical. Fortunately, TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions has all the services and technologies that you need to ensure linguistic accuracy and system quality and compliance.

“Scots Wha’ Hae” and Radical Localization for Medical Device Marketing Material

‘Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled,

Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,

Welcome tae yer gory bed,

Or tae victorie.

As a Celtic Studies major in college and one-time resident of Scotland, I’ve watched with keen interest the impending Scottish independence vote. After 300+ years of union, it’s shocking to think this vote is too close to call (with an incredible 95%+ voter turnout). However, it’s also a very good example of the persistence of regional culture and identity in Europe – and underscores the importance of localizing (not just translating) your marketing content.

Marketing messages designed for the US may not resonate (or even translate) into e.g. French, German, or Turkish markets. That’s why many manufactures are now looking at “radical localization” – a complete rewrite of marketing content for local markets – only “guided” by the English original.

Of course, in these instances, it’s important to have a control in place to ensure that the localized material is acceptable from a Regulatory point of view. This is where technology can help: TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions offers clients  validated technology (Translation Review Portal; TRP) for easy, online review and auditable commenting of translated material – there’s even a preview function so you can see your material in formatted context.

If you *do* need to translate your content into EU target languages, TRP also makes a great platform for your overseas contacts to review and comment on translation quality – there’s even a built-in grading and scoring system so you can track results.

So, whether it’s review of translation accuracy or review of “radical localization” for compliance, technology from TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions can help. And, if Scotland *does* become independent and requires Gaelic for labeling, you’ll be ready!  😉

P.S. Although, romantically, I would love to see an independent Scotland, I know from a practical perspective that continued union is in Scotland’s best interest: No thanks!

Medical Device Business “Too Hard”…for Google (?!)

Admitting something is “too hard” isn’t common at Google…but if you go to 28:54 of this video, you’ll hear Sergey Brin and Larry Page explain why medical device/healthcare is one of those areas.

Aside from feeling a little self-satisfied that you’re doing something that’s too difficult for Google, there are other points to consider here. Sure, device regulation is complex and difficult – and sometimes a little capricious and illogical. Still, regulation is meant to protect public health from faulty devices and bad actors – not everyone who makes a medical device puts patient safety first (witness the PIP breast implant scandal).

This is a common refrain from new technology companies: regulation is stifling innovation. The battle between taxicabs and Uber is one example. However, part of the cost of a cab comes from liability insurance – you can sue the cab company if you’re injured – a pedestrian can sue the company if they are struck by a cab…who are you going to sue if you’re struck by an Uber?

Technology companies (and some device companies) see regulation as an unnecessary burden, but many of these regulations are what help keep devices safe and effective. In this respect, a “least burdensome” approach to regulation is desirable – as the inscription above the temple of Delphi read: “Nothing in Excess”

 

 

What Do Walgreens and Medical Device Content Management Have in Common?

WalgreensAnswer: both employ automation to reduce cost. At Walgreens,  software algorithms are being used to help guide and standardize patient treatment. Based on “big data” from over 100 million patients, the pharmacy chain is proving that professional services can be semi-automated with helpful results. You can read about it here.

A similar scenario is playing out in the medical device industry. Manufacturers are learning that they can automate content by structuring it with XML/DITA. The process requires patience and effort (though easier than developing a software system for patient treatment). However, it yields big savings and risk reduction. Starting with the XML systems provided by  Astoria Software and Vasont Systems, and continuing through the translation process automation technologies of the GlobalLink suite, TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions has the services, know-how, and technologies necessary to automate your content and achieve sustainable cost and risk reduction.