Automated translation as a bridge between patients and the healthcare system

A study published in June 2023 by Berlin's Charité hospital¹ shows in black and white what has long been suspected: People from refugee and migrant backgrounds find it more difficult to access medical care due to language barriers and insufficient information about healthcare structures and processes.

Bernd Baltz
21. May 2024
Reading time: 5 min


However, the availability of comprehensible and reliable health information is an essential building block in preventive healthcare, support and aftercare for illnesses. Only when the patient understands the context beyond the doctor's consultation can they become an empowered partner in their treatment.

If health information is not available in your native language, things can quickly become complicated. An interpreter (health insurance covers the costs), relative or acquaintance is often present at the doctor's appointment to translate as well as possible - but at home on your own, it often becomes difficult. As is so often the case, the internet becomes the go-to source for urgent questions, but reputable offers in the patient's own native language with a German equivalent - i.e. matching the information received from the doctor - are rare. Healthcare providers, from health insurance companies to health information services and pharmaceutical manufacturers, generally do not offer multilingual information because they fear the immense effort involved in creating, releasing and regularly checking it. How can this dilemma be resolved?

AI as a wonder weapon for automated translations

A German cancer info website created by a pharmaceutical company to inform patients about treatment options is a shining example of how technological advances can revolutionize healthcare communication. With the help of an AI-supported website tool, information is provided in 5 foreign languages. The page is translated in real time and made available when called up. This only happens in the display for the user - the translated page is not physically available. This AI-supported tool is already so good that the automated translations are an astonishingly high quality. Essential when it comes to health information!

The advantages are obvious:

Extended reach: translating the website into different languages enables the pharmaceutical company to reach a broader target group. Now it’s not only German-speaking patients, but also patients with a migration background can access important information.

Promoting image and building trust: A multilingual information offering shows that the company takes responsibility and cares about the needs of patients from different cultural backgrounds. This strengthens the image and promotes trust in the brand.

Compliance and information accuracy: The use of high-quality translation tools ensures that the information is correct and complies with legal requirements. This minimizes the risk of misunderstandings and promotes the correct communication of information. The user is also shown a disclaimer indicating that these are automated translations.

Manageable effort: Pharmaceutical companies must have their website content checked by medical and scientific experts at regular intervals and adapt it to current circumstances. It would be unthinkable to do this for hundreds of articles in different languages. An AI-supported translation tool therefore not only eliminates the initial translation effort, but also includes regular updates, as this is done in the native article.

Improved doctor-patient relationship

There is often not enough time in the doctor-patient consultation to deal with all questions and problems in detail. If there is also a language barrier, things become even more complicated. Doctors and nurses can then gratefully refer their patients to a go-to source for their language, making communication much easier. They save valuable time and can still ensure that their patients receive high-quality material they will understand. Providing information in the patient's native language can also improve adherence and understanding of treatment plans.

A milestone in healthcare communication

The implementation of an automated translation function on a patient website marks an important step forward. This measure promotes integrative and patient-oriented care. Through the cooperation of pharmaceutical companies and digital solution providers, technological innovations are effectively used to break down communication barriers and thus improve patient care.

1) Source:

cyperfection gmbh
Bernd Baltz

Im Zollhof 1
67061 Ludwigshafen