For years, Sara worked in a hospital, making care possible for others. Now, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, she was the one in need of care.
The recent Asia Pacific Meeting of ISMPP held from 10–11 September 2021 was attended by professionals from pharmaceutical firms, medical communication agencies, and academic journal publishers to share and discuss recent advances in scientific communications. Here are key takeaways from the meeting.
Advancing Medical Communications with technology
COVID-19 has challenged us to adapt how we communicate medical and scientific information. We are witnessing more technology being leveraged to empower doctors and transcend borders or specialties.
Online becomes the norm, and bite-sized information consumed over the mobile screen is preferred. With the help of technology, the micro-segmentation of physicians can now uncover their preferences, behaviors, and personalized needs; thereby, synthesizing targeted messages that have more impact. New virtual platforms are powerful tools that enable treating physicians to access information with a swipe of a finger and build communities beyond borders and languages. Using artificial intelligence (AI), we can leverage data analytics to predict intents, recommend interventions and deliver new content.
We should also consider the opportunity to embrace our unique cultural gifts in medical communications. Knowledge can be shared through entertainment, breaking down the usual norms of medical communication. For example, in Japan, scientific information could be conveyed through anime.
In summary, today’s audience craves more engaging and relevant content that speaks to them on multiple levels. And as medical communicators, we need to break barriers and find creative ways to bring that science to life. All the better if we can elevate our insight-led scientific content beyond its initial recipient through various digital platforms.
Patient centricity in medical communications
Today’s medical communications must be inclusive and developed with input from diverse patient populations. This helps to empower patients to make confident decisions in their treatment and care. Adopting a patient-centric approach is crucial at every stage of drug development, from the pre-clinical to post-approval stages.
From a service provider standpoint, there are many barriers to incorporating patient-centricity due to a lack of resources, regulatory issues, and subjective viewpoints from the patients. However, there are many cost-effective ways to involve the patient, from producing plain language summaries (PLSs) to being patient authors in publications or involved in the clinical study design.
In this regard, PLSs are increasingly important in the patient-physician dialogue, with 46% of healthcare professionals regarded PLS as valuable and 60% said that they would use PLS to communicate with their patients. Open access is also key to enabling patient access to important medical and scientific information.
The moderator, Vicky Hsu, Parexel’s CVP, Head of Greater China Region, and Head of Biotech Operations APAC, concluded that patient centricity is the core of drug development. Patients want to be more involved in their health. Involving them early in the developmental process will benefit both patients and doctors.
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 2021 Asia Pacific Meeting of ISMPP. Friday, 10 September 2021. Presentation: Patient centricity in medical communications.
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