Crimson Audit & Review

Content Audit, Review & Consulting for Medical Device Makers

Radiologists, Invisible Gorrillas, and Translation Risk Management

Posted by crimsonlanguage on 2013/02/11



Fascinating story about cognitive awareness on WGBH Boston (radio) today.

Read, listen to it here:

Seems that an attention researcher at Harvard Medical School recently completed research with radiologists; expert medical searchers with powers of observation that are described as “super human”.  The reseach, a modification of the Invisible Gorilla Study ( showed that 83% of the time, radiologists actually failed to see the superimposed figure of a gorilla on a diagnostic image…simply because they weren’t expecting to find it. The effect is called “inattentional blindness” (if you’re having a hard time seeing the gorilla, go to the WGBH site and view the enlarged version).

This research has direct application to quality and risk management in medical device translation. Since translation/formatting QA is, essentially, a series of visual inspections, it is very analogous to radiologists’ work. Similarly, translation QA is susceptible to missing big issues through selective focus on specifics. At Crimson, we’ve documented this same effect in a number of places including, for instance, “Hazard Pairs”: pairs of linguistic opposites (on/off, high/low, min/max) that are often mistaken for one another.

Crimson’s ISO 14971-certified risk management is specifically designed to guard against inattentional blindness. In fact, our risk management methods (including classic techniques such as redundancy and diversity) have been codified in the only patent for labeling translation risk management (U.S. Patent No. 8,140,322 B2). Audits show that Crimson’s patented processes are up to 3 times more effective than standard translation processes.

If translation quality is your “500 pound (invisible) gorilla”, contact Crimson – we have patented answers.


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