Beyond print: Your 10-step approach to write and translate digital health content
The healthcare industry has been undergoing a major transformation in recent years, with digital health tools playing an increasingly important role. In this article, I discuss the importance of writing and translating digital health content and provide some practical advice on how to do it effectively.
From mobile apps and wearable devices to websites and telemedicine platforms, digital health tools are revolutionizing how patients access healthcare information and services. They offer many benefits, including increased convenience, improved patient outcomes, and reduced costs.
All digital health tools have one thing in common: they rely on accurate writing and translation to communicate effectively with their users. This means creating content that is not only clear and informative but also accessible, engaging, and culturally sensitive.
Here are 10 best practices for creating digital health content:
1. Know your audience:
Different users may have different needs, preferences, and levels of health literacy. Make sure you have a clear idea of who is your intended audience.
2. Use evidence-based content:
Share information that is grounded in scientific research and best practices to ensure that it is accurate, trustworthy, and effective.
3. Keep it simple:
Use clear, concise language and avoid complex medical terminology or industry jargon. This not only improves engagement but also increases the likelihood that your content is shared and recommended to others.
4. Use visuals:
Use visual aids, such as images and videos, to break down complex concepts, illustrate key points, or demonstrate how to use a particular product or service.
5. Localization is key:
Remember that one size does not fit all. Different cultures have different belief systems and attitudes towards health and healthcare, and different countries have different healthcare practices and regulations.
6. Ensure accessibility:
Make sure that your content is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. This includes using alt text for images, captioning videos, and using adequate font sizes and color schemes.
7. Personalize content:
Include customized features (for example, meal planners, exercise routines, or medication reminders) to improve user engagement and promote behavior change.
8. Be mindful of cultural taboos and stigmas:
Given that some health topics may be taboo or stigmatized in certain cultures, be sensitive to cultural differences and avoid language that may be offensive or insensitive.
9. Provide actionable advice:
Give users specific recommendations that they can implement in their daily lives, such as how to eat a healthy diet or how to get more exercise.
10. Ensure privacy and security:
Use encryption and other security measures to keep sensitive personal information secure and private, and be transparent about how you collect and use data. Be aware of the legal requirements for data collection for the countries where the platforms will be used.
Given their potential to educate and empower users (whether they are patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, or the general population), digital health platforms are a crucial component of modern healthcare.
Medical writers and translators help you to create clear, concise, accurate, and culturally sensitive content that resonates with your audience, thus helping them achieve better health outcomes.
Ana Sofia is an English to Portuguese medical translator and writer working with Life Sciences companies, Contract Research Organizations, and Medical Communication agencies. She has experience translating and writing content for clinical trials, medical devices, regulatory submissions, education and marketing campaigns, and scientific publications.