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Quality, turn-around-times and cost are major pain points in life sciences, CRO and pharma translation

Vinay Raj, VP, Reverie Language Technologies explains the need for transparency and reliability in the translation life cycle of life sciences, CRO and pharma companies and shares details about how his organisation can help bring in more efficiencies in this sphere with its solution called Prabandhak, in an interview with Lakshmipriya Nair

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Reverie is a local language technology solutions company. How did it decide to foray into services for the life sciences sector? What are the unmet needs that you plan to focus on? 

In the face of the pandemic, the life sciences industry has seen a surge in localisation needs at scale. This is not very surprising, given that the industry is already governed by regulatory compliances that take into account languages when it comes to consent or patient involvement to complete/carry out certain procedures, etc. Specifically, when it comes to clinical trials on humans, the Ethics Committee of India requires consent forms and other documentation to be localised in the languages of the patients.

Life sciences, CRO and pharma consume large translation services or need translation services in Indian languages. Reverie focuses on organising the translation industry, scaling up with the use of technology and making it more reliable, which brings transparency in the translation life cycle and helps expedite the clients with a faster go to market strategy.

How did you build this platform? Was it done with the help of life sciences industry stakeholders? How has it been made suitable for the life sciences sector? 

Reverie’s Prabandhak, an AI-powered translation management hub, brings together all language stakeholders–translators, language service providers, enterprises–onto one single platform. 

The Prabandhak platform is built by understanding the market challenges related to translation and localisation of complex pharma-centric content. We have conducted an in-depth analysis of the problem statements expressed by life sciences, CRO and pharma stakeholders. Quality, turn-around-times and cost are the three major pain points related to life sciences, CRO and pharma translation. Prabandhak solves all the problem statements and brings in transparency in the complete translation life cycle.

Currently, the life sciences industry relies heavily on manual translators and language service providers. However, there are several challenges with manual translation, including lack of domain-specific expertise, overhead costs, costly project management processes, the requirement of large workforce for each language, data security problems, and so on. Manual translation is also slow and error-prone.

Therefore, to achieve localisation on scale and to shorten the go-to-market time, the life sciences industry needs to employ automated translation.

Translation of medical data requires great translation accuracy and industry knowledge to make it error-free. How can your solution enable and ensure that? What are the steps you have taken to ensure data security for the organisations using your solution? 

Prabandhak is powered by the Reverie Neural Machine Translation (NMT) engine, which automates language localisation in 21 Indian languages and 53 international languages. The platform is also equipped with advanced tools like reusable translation memory, domain-specific glossaries, Indic-language spell checker and automated quality assurance. Further, the NMT is trained on domain-specific vocabularies that vastly improves translation accuracies. Prabandhak also offers human-assisted translation reviews to further reduce errors. With Prabandhak, translators are able to accurately translate sensitive content upto four times faster than manual translation. 

For LSPs and pharma companies, Prabandhak offers a seamless project management system, which helps them review in real-time how their workforce is occupied and performing. They can now identify how productive their translators are, who is working on what project, how much progress they have made, how effectively they have utilised their time and resources, etc. Further, all sensitive content is stored in one place, which eliminates the need to track documentations and owners.

We are planning to build the NMT especially for the healthcare industry, which will help in easing the process and provide quality translations at a faster turnaround time. 

Prabandhak stores the data in an encrypted format and allows access only on a need to know basis or read-only access to fulfil translations. Project owners representing the chosen LSPs or from the pharma/life-sciences/clinical trial companies only have the full authority to share the data based on confidentiality and delegate work to translators.

Give us some use cases of your solutions and its benefits? Tell us about the life sciences organisations/projects currently using this solution? Any COVID-19 trial that you can cite as an example? 

Prabandhak can easily help translate informed consent forms, patient information sheets, case report forms, clinical trial protocols, drug dossiers, labelling and inserts, instructions for use forms, safety documents, product information leaflets, drug registration documents, adverse event reports, investigator brochures, biochemistry (vaccine) reports, marketing collateral, and much more.

Reverie has developed an AI-enabled technology, especially for IVR voiceover. During the time of pandemic, it became difficult to communicate with citizens using online platforms as most of them were dominated by the English language. This is when a few start-ups from Bangalore came together to start Project StepOne, a telemedicine initiative, across states to give out critical information related to CoVid and provide medical assistance.

In this project, Reverie contributed by deploying its voice solutions for IVR. Usually, voice-overs recorded in studios take close to 96 hours to process but our voice technologies took less than three hours to translate information into different local languages. The feedback we got was overwhelming, and the voiceover was so natural that the user does not realise that they are talking to simulation. 

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