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WikiProject Medicine: Breaking Down Barriers to Save Lives


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Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all medical knowledge. In their own language. That's what we're doing.

UCSF Medical School, WikiMedia Foundation, and Translators without Borders have teamed to make this vision a reality.

But, it takes more than interested people doing good things for the world. It also takes technology to provide the infrastructure and mechanisms to make this happen.

This presentation describes the efforts of hundreds of people and the technologies they are using to overcome various barriers that we face in order to save lives throughout the world.

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WikiProject Medicine: Breaking Down Barriers to Save Lives

  1. 1. WikiProject Medicine Breaking Down Barriers to Save Lives Intelligent Content Conference 2014 San Jose, California February 27-28, 2014 #ICC2014
  2. 2. Val Swisher CEO, Content Rules Board Member, Translators without Borders @TranslatorsWB @ValSwisher
  3. 3. How do We Accomplish this Enormous Task?
  4. 4. It Takes a Village (and a plan) (and technology) 1. 2. 3. 4. Accuracy Readability Local Language Translation Access for All
  5. 5. People Technology Accuracy Acrolinx / Medical Terminology Database ProZ Translation Workspace Service Providers / Wikipedia Zero Readability Translation Access UCSF Medical Students Content Rules Editors / Volunteer Physicians Translators without Borders Volunteer Translators
  6. 6. Accuracy Problem: • Most Wikipedia medical articles are not at GA/FA status Solution: • UCSF Medical School – fourth year student rotation • Pioneered by Dr. Amin Azzam • Participants: • Dr. Evans Whitaker, UCSF Medical School • Dr. Jack McCue, UCSF Medical School • Lauren Maggio, Stanford Medical School • Dr. James Heilman, Medical Wikipedian • Jake Orlowitz, Wikimedia Foundation Ambassador • Val Swisher, Content Rules
  7. 7. Readability Problem: • Medical articles are too complex to read in English • Medical articles are to complicated to be translated Solution: • Simplify Wikipedia medical articles prior to translation • Create database of simplified medical terminology • Translators without Borders Simplified English Program • Content Rules • Acrolinx • Countless volunteers from the writing/editing community
  8. 8. Simplified English Medical Terminology Database By the numbers: 10,000+ 31 15 1 1 100 Medical terms Volunteer editors Volunteer physicians from around the world Database of all terms Year Planned languages
  9. 9. Local Language Translation Problem: • Need articles in local languages • Need to maintain accuracy in translation Solution by the numbers: • 100 Translate top 100 medical articles into 100 languages • 4 eyes Translation by one translator and verification by a second • 40-50 Languages currently processed • Future Hoping to expand to all 286 languages and beyond
  10. 10. Accessibility Problem: • Developing world has limited access to computer and the internet • Cellphones widespread, but data charges very expensive Solution: • Convince service providers to allow Wikipedia access without data charges • Provide SMS access free of charge for feature phones – Wikipedia Zero
  11. 11. SUCCESSES  2.2 million words translated into 50 languages  Some articles reached Wikipedia GA / FA status in local language  10,000+ simplified medical terms But there is SO MUCH more work to be done…
  12. 12. Have Questions? Want to Help? Talk to me!
  13. 13. Thank You to ICC 2014 for Selecting Translators Without Borders as Your Charitable Organization