Interview with Wojciech Froelich (CTO) on Practical Tips to Improve the Localizability of Your Medical Device Software
February 10, 2016Wojciech Froelich
On February 23rd we are heading off to Munich, Germany to attend the Software Design for Medical Devices Europe 2016 conference. This well-known event is not only a great opportunity to exchange best practices in the medical devices industry, but also a chance to meet with representatives from the most innovative medical device companies around Europe.
This year’s edition will focus on innovation sharing, interactive troubleshooting, regulatory changes as well as agile development methodology. Our CTO, Wojciech Froelich will join as a speaker with his presentation on “Practical Tips to Improve the Localizability of Your Medical Device Software.”
Here is a little sneak-peak of what you can expect from Wojciech’s presentation.
Can you briefly explain your areas of expertise?
Wojciech: I started my adventure 16 years ago, as a localization engineer, but from the very beginning I was interested in a much broader picture. I wasn’t interested in the software localization process itself, so I started exploring other areas, including software development, authoring and multilingual DTP. Over the years I gained enough knowledge and experience to be able to successfully connect many systems and processes to create an efficient, streamlined localization process, both for software and documentation.
Could you explain what Localizability is?
Wojciech: The ultimate goal of software development is to create application that is “world ready” – can be used in any part of the world and translated into any language.
Localizability is related to the translation part – it refers to the design of software and its resources which enables the localization of software without introducing any changes to its code. Localizability requires using appropriate framework and creating guidelines that will help developers with this task. One has to clearly separate UI resources from functionality-related resources and confirm – through localizability testing – that the product can be easily localized.
Why Localizability is a CRITICAL requirement of the product planning process?
Wojciech: Thorough planning for localizability and localizability testing has a direct impact on the localization process, its costs, timeline, and resources required. “Thinking about localization” is very often taken too literally and this introduces a risk element at the localization stage – localizers may not be provided with content in a convenient format, the context for localized software strings may not be clear and extra process steps may “steal” some translator’s time. For medical devices, accuracy of translation is the key factor, and we all should focus on creating such an environment and such a process that will in turn facilitate the localizers' work.
What is so special about the localization of medical devices?
Wojciech: Life sciences in general are fascinating. They change and revolutionize every aspect of our lives. For me personally, with my strong background in physics, it is a very unique opportunity to see the most innovative use of applied science.
What is a typical challenge when localizing medical device software?
Wojciech: Many of the challenges result from applying modern technology and processes. A very typical challenge these days is with touch-screen displays where there is limited space to store accurate translations and the target language tends to expand in comparison with the English source ..
Can you share one crucial tip that can help manage this process?
Wojciech: From my experience, managing this process is much easier when you treat your localization team as part of the development team, enabling direct communication about teams’ expectations and localization-related issues. If you outsource your localization work, choose a reliable and secure partner to build a long-lasting relationship with its localization team.
It’s never technology or process itself that is the answer, it’s the right mix of people, process and technology.
If you would like to meet the Argos team, stop by our booth at the conference or join our CTO - Wojciech Froelich during his presentation on “Practical Tips to Improve the Localizability of Your Medical Device Software”. In his speech, he will answer all your technical and implementation questions in the localization area. The presentation will take place on the first day of the main conference (23rd of February) at 3.50pm in Hilton Munich City.
Hope to see you there!