Unlocking your Medical Writing skills during lockdown

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Online training program in Medical writing and healthcare communication to enhance your skills to explore new non clinical career avenues in healthcare.

Problems are opportunities. Yes, this lockdown period could be the best time for most of us to pursue the laundry lists like reading books, listening to music, watching your favorite web series, movies and importantly pursing a skill.

You may consider this phase as an opportunity to upgrade/hone your skills and explore new career avenues in healthcare.

Today’s digital health ecosystem demands healthcare professionals having good command over written communication so they can effectively communicate to their audience over the digital medium. Yes, indeed everyone is hanging around in digital space and more than 80% workplace communication happens in the written form. This statistic of 80% in healthcare set-up is of great importance since it is high-regulated and demonstrates adoption of research and evidence base practices and current shift towards patient centricity.

Honing medical writing skills can open up over hundreds of new career opportunities in clinical and non-clinical set-ups. Your science knowledge and language skills can help you to explore career opportunities in healthcare ecosystem where there is constant interaction and collaboration happening between participants digitally. The entire ecosystem is focused around patients and consumers as they are connected via social media data, personal health records, medical devices tracking using IoT – Internet of Things. With the lists of the entities of healthcare ecosystem below, you may be able to estimate the possible avenue for your career.

1. Food and Nutrition Companies– Food compliance, consumer education, nutrition and wellness programs

2. Pharmacies – Online pharmacy, e-prescription, claims data

3. Life Sciences – Clinical trials and development, compliance, medical devices, consumer education

4. Public health – Pandemic readiness, vaccine inventory and distribution, sanitation and public safety, healthy lifestyle and diet, managing chronic condition and dual diseases.

5. Healthcare IT providers – HIS – Health Information Exchange, Electronic Medical Records, HIPPA , eHealth , mHealth, Social Media Communication

6. Medical Research Centers – Clinical research, disease study,

7. Retail Health Clinics – Consumer services

8. Health and Wellness Club – Diet, fitness, health and wellness program

9. Regulatory bodies – Healthcare policy, regulatory compliance and research study

10. Employers / Business functions- Employee Health and Wellness programs, health benefit schemes

11. Payers – Risk Management, Disease Management, Patient education, Predictive Analytics

12. Transaction services – claim processing, accounts payable and receivable

13. Medical Education

14. Publication

15. Medical Communication Services.

Online Training offered by I-CME in Medical Writing and Healthcare Communication is powered with 3A – Assignments, Assessment and Advice.  The program is custom designed based on industry medical writing and healthcare communication delivery requirement. The e-learning program covers broad spectrum of consumer/ patient centric writing, scientific and publication writing, e-learning for medical/ health professional education, writing for digital, regulatory writing and social media and medico-marketing writing. The training program is hosted on cloud and can be accessed by the learner anytime, anywhere.

It has 14 e-learning modules with integrated assignment and self-assessment tool. The assignment review by the expert is the secret sauce which makes it one of the most accepted online medical writing training program worldwide.  We encourage participants to customize their training by opting for assignments based on their background and specialty.  A dentist may request to customize his/her assignment on dental subject similarly a hospital administrator can request for custom assignment practice as per their hospital communication requirement.

ICME’s e-learning program in Medical Writing and Healthcare Communication is offered in three editions – Academic, Standard and Advance program. The Academic edition is to make students industry-ready focusing on publication and academic writing.

ICME’s e-learning program in Medical Writing and Healthcare Communication has over 1500 participants world-wide and corporate/ industry / academic institutes find the training program offered up-to-date and relevant to real-time application.

Let’s make the best of the lock-down phase and pray we will be soon able to win over Covid-19 epidemic. Let’s wash hands at frequent intervals, maintain hygiene and maintain social distancing strictly.

How to become a successful Medical Writer?

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How to to be a successful freelance medical writer

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects technical writing jobs like scientific writing to increase by 11% by 2026. The demand for medical writing will increase because of the need to communicate enormous scientific information or data.

Medical writing is all about communicating clinical and scientific information in written form. Anyone from medicine, pharma, and life sciences background who understands science, and is passionate about writing can become a medical writer. Most of the medical writers today find medical writing as a flexible, adventurous and well-paying career option when compared with traditional research or clinical jobs.

To be a successful medical writer, a person should have an inclination towards research along with good writing skills and a better understanding of complex medical jargon. Apart from these, here are a few more tips that may way up your career as a successful medical writer.

Get educated about medical writing

“The medical communications field is very broad as well as very deep.”- Brian Bass, co-author of The Accidental Medical Writer.

The plethora of writings is medical writing. Today, Medical writing can be broadly categorized into:

  • Scientific Writing
  • Regulatory Writing
  • Medico-marketing Writing
  • Consumer writing
  • Social media writing
  • e-Learning  

The medical writer presents information in different formats as per the understanding and requirement of the target audience. The target audiences can be physicians, scientists, regulatory bodies, and patients or the general public. Medical writing is a burgeoning field and the writer must acquire skills of writing various documents to expand the opportunities as a medical writer.

Formal training can help

Medical writing is a quite challenging career, especially for the people who are new to writing.  

A formal training or certification program in medical writing and healthcare communications could be of great help. It can provide the right assistance and professional expertise for anyone who intends to be a medical writer.

Six months of dedicated training program not only increases the credibility of your profile but, also shows your commitment to excel as a medical writer. So, make sure to evaluate these points while choosing a training program:

  • Check for the experience and the quality of the training delivered by the institute.
  • Check whether the curriculum includes medical writings assignments and feedback from the experts, which provides exposure to the industry.

Network with the like-minded crowd  

Be a part of healthcare conferences, workshops, and webinars to make the right contacts. Healthcare start-up’s , hospitals and med com companies are

Show the world that you can write! Build an online profile (e.g.- LinkedIn) that details your proficiency in writing. Own a blog and update it regularly. These significant ways show your confidence in writing and can be a great means for a recruiter to evaluate your work before assigning you a project.

Never miss an opportunity

Medical writing is a skill that gets better with time and practice. To gain experience in writing it is important to have a platform to write. Pick-up part-time internships to get started. Keep exploring the freelance sites that have a provision to publish your work. Remember experience is money for a medical writer!

Polish your knowledge and skills

To write a flawless document, a writer must have a good command of writing. An error-free document is developed when a writer knows the rules of writing, proper usage of grammar, and sentence formation.

Medical Writing, such as scientific writing demands the writer to be well-versed with the technical knowledge like Human anatomy and physiology, therapeutics and pharmacology. Being intact with the subject is important for a medical writer to clearly convey the information to the target audience.

A medical writer should have hands-on over tools like Ms Office and Ms excel along with the basics understanding of statistics to present the complex data in a simpler format. The recent digital writing demands the writer to know the basics of social media marketing and content strategy, this is definitely an additional feather on your hat.

No matter how good a medical writer you are, there is always something new to explore. It is advised for a writer to archive the things that they aren’t familiar with and gets trained on them to be a successful medical writer.

Gain the power of being creative

Can you remember the painting that flashes in your mind without any efforts? The art of creativity makes anything stand unique and attractive; it can be with your writings too! Not to deny, writing is an art, but it cannot stand tall without creativity in it. The writer should remember to grab the attention of the reader in less than 10 sec. Reading non-medico books like novels, following blogs, and reading interesting narratives can improve creativity in your write-ups.

Be ethical with your profession

Like any career, medical writing demands the writer to follow ethical practices in their work. As a writer, one must not overrule plagiarism and copyright laws. Medical writers should not present any incorrect or unapproved information in their writings. Medical writers should accept work/projects and assignments from qualified personnel. Being professional with deliverables while adhering to the timelines is the important quality of a medical writer.

Medical writing is a stable, growing, and rewarding profession for everyone who is willing to advance their skills in the healthcare industry. A precise training to hone your skills and a passion to acquire a rewarding job can make you a part of the billion-dollar medical writing industry.

Practitioners should use digital marketing as a key to interact with patients

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Speaking at the 2018 annual meeting of the Large Urology Group Practice Association, Jennifer Dally, Healthcare Consultant, emphasised social media and digital marketing as a key to engage the patients. According to her 4 essentials for every medical practice are: a website; search business listings; social media engagement; and review management. These determines how patients or physicians find a practice in the digital landscape. She also informed practitioners to have separate profiles in leading social media platforms for an efficient patient engagement. 

Source – Renal and urology news

AI-designed drug to enter human clinical trials for the first time

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British start-up Exscientia and Japanese pharmaceutical firm Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma have created a drug molecule to treat Obsessive compulsive disorder using Artificial Intelligence.  The precisely engineered drug will enter phase one trials in Japan which, if successful, will be followed by more global tests. The firm is working on potential drugs for the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease and hopes to have another molecule ready for clinical trials by the end of the year. AI took 12 months to develop the drug molecule, which conventionally takes more than five years. The chief executive Prof Andrew Hopkins, Exscienta, described it as a “key milestone in drug discovery”..

Source – BBC news

Clinical Trail Market to emerge as a proactive business vertical

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The recent research data suggested Clinical Trial market as one of the emerging business verticals. The clinical trial market is estimated to gather substantial returns over the forecast period. The report segments Clinical Trial market into Fisher Clinical Services, PRA Health, CliniChain, Myoderm, Parexel, Bilcare, Marken, MESM, Ancillare, Covance, World Courier and etc. These companies have been competing with each other in a bid to attain a successful status in the global market.

Source: Technology magazineAI-designed drug to enter human clinical trials for

A well informed medical representative are adding value to the oncologists practice

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A recent survey, done by cardinal health found that the good number of oncologist’s relay on pharma sales representatives to gain the knowledge about new products and drug data. Apart from the new product education, pharma reps also add value by providing patient access and assistance programs, providing staff education and patient education materials. As per the survey, the oncologists prefer the pharmaceutical companies to provide the content beyond clinical and safety trial data by focussing up on patient outcome studies based on real-world evidence and drug comparative effectiveness studies.

Source – Policy and Medicine

Development of online digital resource accessible for students with visual impairment

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In today’s Digital world, new innovations and technologies are making life better; let it be about safety or health all are addressed by some or the other form of technology. But, people with visual impairment or blindness still face a lot of daily obstacles at school or workplace. 

To overcome this, an online resource, which address the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) accessible for students with visual impairment or blindness is developed.

A study was conducted which was outlined in a Design-Based Research methodology. It involved the analysis, design, development and implementation of a digital resource.

In the first stage of analysis, the accessibility challenges was made in a way that the design of strategies and specific technical solutions approach them.

The development process has revealed that users with visual impairment or blindness can access the online digital resources. The most visual contents and activities (based on videos and images) can be easily adjusted.

It suggested that the online accessible resources should be based on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines. It allows the correct description of the entire content by screen readers, accessible features, using audio description and providing keyword navigation.

Source:

Pisco A A M, Joana B, Luis P, et al. Development of an online digital resource accessible for students with visual impairment or blindness: Challenges and strategies, IOS Press Content Library, Work, vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-10, 202010.3233/WOR-203085

3d education video improves disease knowledge of the patients

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Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a severe liver disease for which Liver transplantation is the only therapeutic option. The course of the disease is unpredictable, which creates anxiety and uncertainty among patients and caregivers. It is anticipated that improved disease knowledge may result in better health outcomes. PSC lacks high quality patient education materials. Therefore, Van Munster and his colleagues conducted a study to evaluate the ability of 3-dimensional education video to educate the patients and relatives about PSC.

A digital survey was done in which questions about PSC, satisfaction and anxiety was sent before, after, and one week after watching the video. The study comprised of 278 participants, including European and American patients and relatives. 

The results state that the PSC knowledge score was increased from 53% to 74% directly after and 70% one week after watching the video. There was a decrease in the STAI anxiety score after the video. Also, the knowledge improved more in the participants with lower baseline knowledge and/or younger age as compared to other participants.

The study results concluded that the 3D education video was useful to improve the disease knowledge in patients for unpredictable disease like PSC.

Thus, the 3D education video can be used to improve the patient education and decrease the anxiety of the patients and relatives.

Source: Munster K N V, Mil J V, Safer R, et al. Improving disease knowledge of primary sclerosing cholangitis patients and their relatives with a 3-dimensional education video, Patient Education and Counseling , 10 January 2020.

What new does digital media marketing holds in future

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The world is moving towards digital market, therefore the way to use marketing should be adapted accordingly. Before 2010, there was no Instagram, and it is weird to imagine that time. But then Instagram was launched followed by snapchat. Now, the entire social strategies are centered on the Instagram and other social media platforms. There were several video platforms that came to an end by 2010 like Vine. However, the upgraded technology have given rise to TikTok, which is a new video-sharing social media app. Introduction of GDPR and SEO was other hot topic in 2010. Now, in 2020s SEO has become much advanced. Technology is changing and getting smarter each day. So, predicting the next evolution in social media marketing is always a big surprise. 

Source: Business 2 community

WHO guidance for digital health application and future research

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Most recently, The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released guidance for digital health after performing a critical and in-depth review on the literature available. It has generated an overview on the benefits, harms, acceptability, feasibility, resource use and equity considerations of digital health interventions. It also provides insights for researchers engaged in designing, developing and validating the digital interventions. The guidelines are also foreseen to greatly impact the future research for digital applications.

It is certain that digital solutions support patients and physicians in achieving their medical goals. They have been also increasingly adopted in health care. However, data is lacking on the impact of digital applications on health care. As number and types of digital solutions increasing, there is an immediate requirement to develop evidence-based insights for the integration of these solutions in medical practices. This paper provides an overview of the guidelines and insights for researchers engaged in the development and validation of digital interventions. It also recommends that the digital tools should be developed and implemented in accordance with the principles of digital development. It extends guidance for building a supportive environment for better adoption of digital health.

Using digital means to complement the traditional education, in training and education of healthcare professionals is definitely recommended. However studies evaluating the validation of learning content are limited that makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions. Researchers need to be vigilant in using over increasing digital tools. Additionally, sustained efforts are demanded in the development of novel digital tools that could benefit both patient and physicians in health care.

Source

Jandoo T. WHO guidance for digital health: What it means for researchers. Digit Health. 2020;6:2055207619898984. Published 2020 Jan 8. doi:10.1177/2055207619898984