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U.S. Medical Device “Total Cost of Content” Estimated at over $1 Billion

BioPortfolio.com – October 18, 2011

Crimson Life Sciences, a division of TransPerfect and the world’s only ISO 13485 and ISO 14971 certified translation provider, today released a new research memo documenting the “Total Cost of Content” for medical device makers. According to U.S. manufacturers’ estimates, the total cost associated with creating, approving, updating, maintaining, translating, and formatting content in the key areas of Regulatory, Marketing, and Training amounts to approximately 1 percent of revenue, or $1 billion per year. Based on implementation of content and translation management strategies and technologies, Crimson estimates potential savings of up to 40 percent of this total ($400 million). Crimson’s research memo is available for download here.

The Cost of Complexity
Propelled by aging worldwide populations and developing economies, the U.S. medical device industry has witnessed remarkable growth and globalization over the past 15 years. However, one unwelcome side effect has been an increased volume of content necessary to make, register, train, and market devices worldwide. In fact, by some measures, content complexity has increased by 300-400 percent in the last decade. For most manufacturers, increased complexity means significantly increased cost to create, update, maintain, translate, and format device-related content across a variety of formats.

According to Crimson President Marc H. Miller, “Many manufacturers have been living with this issue for some time. However, current economic conditions have pushed them to the realization that potential savings and increased profitability justifies the required effort.”

The potential savings are significant. According to Crimson’s research, the “Total Cost of Content” for a typical, large device maker is 1 percent of revenue. Industry-wide, this amounts to approximately $1 billion per year in content-related expenses. Of this total cost, Crimson estimates that up to 40 percent could be eliminated through a combination of content and translation management strategies and technologies. In other words, up to $400 million is potentially available to the U.S. device industry for bottom-line profitability improvement.

Content Management: Succeed or Die Trying
The planning and migration effort required to capture these content management savings is not trivial. Miller advises manufacturers to begin with translation process automation. Globalization Management Systems, like TransPerfect’s GlobalLink® suite, are quicker and easier to implement; however, they also account for only 25 percent of the potential content management savings. The remaining 75 percent savings come from implementation of component content management systems like industry-leader Astoria Software. Explains Miller, “A system like Astoria can help manufacturers dramatically reduce costs and turnaround—that’s why it is important to remain dedicated to the implementation effort. The exercise is not easy, but it is definitely worthwhile.”

About Crimson Life Sciences
Crimson is a division of TransPerfect Translations International, Inc. and is the only translation practice devoted exclusively to high-risk medical devices and IVDs. Crimson is the world’s first translation firm certified to ISO both 13485 and ISO 9001 and the only translation firm certified to ISO 14971. TransPerfect, certified to ISO 9001 and EN 15038, is the world’s largest privately held language services provider with more than 70 offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.crimsonlanguage.com.