As we reach the end of the public health emergency in the United States, healthcare professionals will revert to addressing healthcare issues such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs). At-home diagnostic manufacturers including ThermoFisher, Quidel, and Danaher are bracing for a drop in demand for at-home COVID tests by shifting their focus to help patients prevent and manage NCDs.
Navigating the shift back to NCD prevention and management requires clear communication with a diverse audience. Organizations that consider the cultural nuances and sensitivities of specific target markets while including language access will have an advantage in the current global market. Read the latest MedTech trends affecting companies around the world.
Improve Health Equity By Empowering Patients
Allianz Healthcare has identified three key upcoming mindset shifts in the healthcare landscape. They include:
- A focus on healthcare prevention.
- Empowering patients to take charge of their health.
- Unlocking the potential of digital health.
Digital health includes mobile health, telehealth, and telemedicine, as well as wearable health devices, which patients utilize at home to monitor various data points.
To empower patients with new technology, organizations will need to optimize these touchpoints with messaging that resonates with linguistically and culturally diverse patient groups. To better understand the potential advantages of a culturally appropriate messaging strategy, let’s examine an emerging opportunity more closely.
Diabetes Prevention and Treatment
In the U.S., diabetes creates $237 billion in direct medical costs, including related complications such as heart or kidney disease and strokes. Early detection and effective treatment can reduce the risk of complications and reduce patient bills. Multicultural patients require information in their preferred language to know what their options are and how to access treatment. Translated materials help ensure understanding.
Dexcom, Abbott, Medtronic, Insulet, and others have new products in development to assist patients in better managing their diabetes, including Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs). As of March 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they will expand coverage of CGMs to include a larger pool of Medicare patients and other large commercial insurers are expected to follow.
CGMs allow patients to prevent the worst outcomes of diabetes by alerting them when their blood sugar is outside of a typical healthy range. According to analysts at JP Morgan, only 25% of Type 2 diabetes patients who qualify for intensive treatment were using CGMs as of 2022.
The CMS announcement is expected to double the market and hopefully support increased utilization of these devices for all affected (the health impact of diabetes falls most heavily on marginalized communities). Patient education is needed to ensure not only that devices are used, but that they’re used effectively. To clearly educate multicultural patients, material must be localized in a manner that is easily understood and considers the points of resonance with the target community.
Communication Key to Risk Mitigation
As technology advances and new options become available, MedTech companies must be able to communicate product releases, issues and news clearly and concisely in multiple languages to mitigate risk in a timely manner.
According to nonprofit safety body ECRI, the failure to communicate information about recall notices to patients with home use medical equipment is “the nation’s most pressing health technology safety issue for 2023.”
In 2021, Philips recalled millions of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and other respiratory devices. ECRI observed that “several months elapsed before some patients became aware of the recall" and many were unsure about what to do next.
To ensure patient understanding, ECRI advises manufacturers to clarify their communication. By keeping registration instructions and recall notices simple to understand, companies can provide patients with the information they need to keep themselves safe.
What the industry has learned from things like the Philips recall is that patients need timely access to clear information in their preferred language. A strong partnership with a language services provider is essential to protect patients from harm and companies from liability. An effective language solutions program requires thorough planning to provide clear, well-timed communication to prioritize patient safety and minimize risk.
How Our Team Can Help
ULG has the expertise and resources to help MedTech companies navigate these exciting shifts in healthcare, supporting your team to communicate with culturally and linguistically diverse audiences. Implementing best-in-class tools, technology and processes, we’re here to help you optimize your global communication strategy. By leveraging our proprietary Language Asset Management (LAM) program, and Translation Management System (OctaveTMS), translation activities are streamlined, secure, and centralized while ensuring accuracy, speed and consistency.
Our expert team is here to help you enable your audiences to take charge of their health. To get started, connect with us today.