Case Study: Algom. Doctors trust Smartcat

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While the concept of evidence-based medicine is still little known in Russia, in Europe and the USA more than 80% of medical practitioners apply its principles in preventative health care, and the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Using Smartcat, Algom translated a digital knowledge base for medical professionals into the Russian language thus giving Russian-speaking specialists access to the results of contemporary research.

The principles of evidence-based medicine are based on research data, which is gathered and analyzed by specialists from different countries around the world. These principles meet strict eligibility criteria and are applied by physicians when making decisions regarding the most effective treatment methods for their patients. Specialists from the Finnish Medical Society Duodecim have created the electronic knowledge base called Evidence-Based Medical Guidelines. It includes best practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of various illnesses. Its easy-to-use link-based search engine helps clinicians make decisions in everyday practice, while regular updates enable them to stay abreast of the most advanced international research.

Algom, a Russian-based developer of digital medical solutions, decided to translate the database into Russian so that Russian-speaking medical professionals could enjoy access to one of the world’s most comprehensive sources of evidence-based medicine.

Precision is paramount

When it comes to patient health, there can be no room for error. At the same time, for Algom, issues of cost and timescale were essential considerations. It was clear from the outset that the necessary standards of quality could only be achieved by creating a dedicated team of translators and organizing the work process internally. The translators had to meet the highest requirements: at least 5 years proven medical experience as well as several published, translated articles on a medical theme. Normally, a high-quality translation has to pass through the hands of an editor and then a proofreader. Determined to take their quality to the next level, Algom created a unique multistage workflow:

  1. Translation.

  2. Editing.

  3. Final proofreading by the senior editor.

  4. Review by a board of medical colleagues.

Clearly, a tool was needed in which all project participants could work together on the translations and communicate with each other.


Smartcat proved to be the most suitable of all the options reviewed thanks to its complete set of translation technologies, internal translator database and automated billing and payout system.

Translation technologies

The Smartcat CAT editor has a built-in set of translation technologies designed to help translators, editors, and proofreaders work more efficiently. By reusing translated fragments of text stored in translation memories, the translators were able to achieve stylistic and lexical uniformity, which, in turn, led to a 30% reduction in cost for Algom. To make the editing and proofreading stage more efficient, the terminology database MeSH, widely used in the sphere of medicine, was added to the project as a glossary. The built-in Q&A check meant that typing errors and mistakes could be found quickly and easily. Extensive opportunities for communication and collaboration enabled Algom to bring medical experts on board to discuss nuances of the translations in real time.

Qualified freelance translators

At a certain stage of the process, the decision was made to find additional translators in order to produce results more quickly. Smartcat allows you to find freelancers directly on the Marketplace or to send a query to Smartcat requesting a selection of suitable candidates. Following Algom’s request, Smartcat specialists provided the company with a list of 26 candidates hand-picked from our own freelance translator database. All of them had a medical background and experience in translating texts on medical themes, and some had even authored their own publications. Algom specialists chose two of the recommended translators to take part in the project.

Reasonable prices

In Smartcat, any number of participants can be assigned to a project without having to purchase per-user licenses. Should the need arise, more talent can always be sourced from the Marketplace. Another useful Smartcat feature allows total project cost to be calculated automatically so that all you have to do is pay a single bill produced in your Smartcat account. Beyond that, every participant can choose their preferred payment method of receiving their earnings. The system provided Algom with a bill once a month taking into account the work accepted and reductions for repeated units. The total payment was automatically divided among project participants. Depending on their chosen payment method, each participant received money on a monthly basis either to a bank card, bank account or electronic wallet avoiding delays and unnecessary hassle.

“In choosing Smartcat, we got more than just a convenient technical translation environment. Smartcat’s support team was extremely attentive in finding solutions to our task, which was complex and critical: they not only helped us to organize the workflow process and an entire team of experts but also to find new translators quickly when the need arose. As far as the technology is concerned, the translators appreciated how easy it was to achieve the necessary levels of accuracy and consistency, using constantly renewed glossaries and a database of translation memories. The option to leave comments directly in the document gave every expert the opportunity to express their view on the translation and discuss any issues with their colleagues. As a result, all our projects are carried out to the highest quality, on time and on budget.”

Andrey Muchkin, Executive Director at Algom