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Bobby's recap: navigating the European Meeting of ISMPP as a Senior Medical Writer at 澳门六合彩开奖网

05 February 2024

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Senior Medical Writer Bobby Thompson

The 2024 European meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP), held on 23鈥24 January 2024, saw professionals from all areas of medical communications gather in the Novotel London West to shelter from some quintessentially British weather. I started working at 澳门六合彩开奖网 only a couple of months before the world locked down in response to COVID-19, so this was my first chance to attend a conference in person, and it was a great experience! From attending inspiring keynote sessions to reading the different research presented in the poster hall, ISMPP Europe was full of brilliant opportunities to learn and grow.

One of the first sessions of the event was a plenary session titled 鈥橫edcomms 2030: A Blue Sky and Black Cloud Perspective鈥. Moderated by Jocelyn Woodcock of Caudex, this session saw James Dathan (AstraZeneca), clad in an incredibly daring suit with a blue-sky print, present an optimistic view of how our industry might have changed for the better by the year 2030. This was countered by Bethany Whalley (Novo Nordisk), who presented a more cynical and pessimistic view of how things might have changed for the worse. Will generative artificial intelligence (AI) enhance public access to science through the creation of plain language summaries, or will it be used to output lazy, factually misleading content with little human oversight? Will the role of patients as authors evolve to be the industry standard, or will perceptions of bias and pharma meddling shut down the patient voice? Although the presentation was hugely speculative, it was still interesting to consider the challenges the industry will face in the years to come.

It should be noted that, in my humble opinion, we had the best swag in the exhibitor hall 鈥 a comfy pair of 澳门六合彩开奖网-branded socks will be right at home in my wardrobe!

Another highlight of the conference was a session on 鈥橦umanizing AI & Building Trust鈥. Presented by Nell Watson of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association, this session gave a broad-strokes overview of the history of AI and how it is poised to change not just medical communications, but all areas of science and medicine. The session highlighted both the opportunities that AI presents us and the perils that it might pose, including 鈥榮hadow AI鈥 being used without disclosure, leaks that could result from improper use of large language models, and questions and concerns about intellectual property rights when using generative AI. As everybody scrambles to get ahead of the curve on AI, it鈥檚 important to bear in mind the problems that it can present.

The poster that I had worked on was presented during the guided poster tour by Alessandra Bittante, AstraZeneca (middle right).

Another plenary session titled 鈥橣rom Blue Sky to Bottom Line: Getting Innovation Off the Ground鈥 presented two case studies of innovative projects 鈥 both of which were supported by 澳门六合彩开奖网. One project showed results from a pilot study using machine learning algorithms to speed up systematic literature reviews. Another project focused on developing a framework to guide involving patients as authors and reviewers on pharma-sponsored publications 鈥 a project that I was involved in developing alongside our client! It was for this second project that I was also co-author on a poster presented at the event, a particular point of pride given it was the first publication of any type that had my name in the byline! You can view the poster .

Probably coming as a surprise to nobody, one of the prevailing themes of the conference was the role of AI in our industry. Many presenters discussed the topic of AI, and the poster hall contained many presentations on the topic. Presenters had trialled the use of AI to streamline literature reviews, create and improve plain language summaries, and predict and maximize the impact of an article before publication. Although we鈥檙e all still brainstorming ideas to figure out how best to utilize AI, it鈥檚 clear that the technology has potential. Indeed, the change has already begun: the first draft of this very article was written by prompting our in-house AI tool Paige 鈥 followed, of course, by successive refinement by my capable human hands! As you鈥檒l no doubt have heard by now, AI is here to stay, but it鈥檚 up to us to make sure that it鈥檚 used in the right way.

On the whole, ISMPP Europe was a lovely experience. It was a chance to deepen my understanding of the industry and meet clients face to face, breaking down that screen barrier. Although it鈥檚 wonderful to read positive feedback in emails from clients, nothing quite compares to getting to have a chat with another human in person! It was also a great chance to read some posters and get some inspiration for my own work. Hopefully, if I can put this inspiration into practice, it can help me to deliver much more impactful poster designs.