Don't Forget your Toothbrush! Add These Six Items to Your Checklist Before Going International With Your Business

Exporting your digital health success to other countries can be an exciting and daunting step.  We’ve been there with clients before.  While there is a long list of things to research before taking the leap, these critical items are often overlooked.

1.     Regulatory.  Is there a requirement to have a physical presence in-country or to employ nationals? Regardless, check to see if you need to register your US company locally.  For example, before being eligible to collect or process patient data, some countries require you to register with a data processing authority or similar regulatory body.  

2.     Support.  How will you maintain your customer service standards overseas? You’re used to supporting customers during the US business day.  Form a plan for fielding technical support requests from end users on the other side of the globe in a way that doesn’t leave them feeling like second tier priority.

3.     Translation.  What are your customer’s language requirements?  Clarify roles and responsibilities between you and the customer for translating documentation and online materials like your website or app.  Also, speaking of support, have a plan to address the needs of non-English speakers calling for technical support.

4.     Compliance.  Do you know how your compliance translates to another country? You may have invested a good deal of time obtaining HITRUST CSF or other certifications to verify your data privacy and security chops.  Will those certifications carry over to non-US installations?  Research what are the recognized audit standards in the region you’re targeting and assess.

5.     License Clearances.  Is your full product package available internationally? If you use third party tools and resources to deliver your offering, check if your license agreement with the vendor who provided those items allows use outside of the US.

6.     Importing Data. Can you host data you collect in another country in your US environment? Understand the local regulations for restrictions on transferring data out of the country.  When it comes to patient data, some countries and regions may require you to collect specific consent by the individual patient before data can be shipped back to the US and to have agreements in place with your subcontractors and other vendors regulating the use and storage of patient data.     

Most importantly, know that you don’t have to do it alone.  We can help you leverage the experience of others to adopt lessons learned and avoid costly oversights. Contact us for more information. 

Tripp Stroud