Exploring new frontiers in HealthScience communications at the 18th Annual Meeting of ISMPP

25 May 2022

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Creativity, diversity, data visualization and plain language summaries all took centre stage at the 18th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP), which took place on 9–11 May 2022 in Washington, DC, USA.

This year’s industry-shaping conference aimed to encourage medical publication professionals to make a positive impact on the future of scientific communications and to become ‘future-ready’. Aligning with this mission, Oxford PharmaGenesis colleagues led sessions to inspire innovation and collaboration, facilitating some of the event’s most compelling conversations.

Driving sustainability across the supply chain

Oxford PharmaGenesis broke new ground at the event with an important study that demonstrated the urgent need for suppliers of pharmaceutical companies to engage with sustainability targets.

These findings were revealed on the second day of ISMPP during an oral presentation by study co-leads DPhil student Dr Amy Booth (Green Templeton College and the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford) and Oxford PharmaGenesis CEO Dr Chris Winchester (Associate Fellow, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford).

The aim of this work was to determine the sustainability commitments of leading pharmaceutical companies and their implications for the supply chain – which includes medical publications professionals.

The study found that 19 out of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have committed to reaching climate change targets, with some deadlines coming into force as early as 2025. Although some companies are already engaging with suppliers to reduce their environmental impact, the study urges all suppliers to advance efforts by focusing on novel solutions.

Later in the day, Amy and Chris led a roundtable discussion for attendees to reflect on these findings and to share ideas to tackle the sustainability challenge.

Learn more about the study here.

Innovation for impact

Also on day 2, Oxford PharmaGenesis COO Dr Richard White led a parallel session on best practice in dashboarding and interactive visualization to gain deeper insights from data.

In this engaging and light-hearted session, Richard provided attendees with tips and best practice principles for the development and use of interactive visualizations and dashboards. The audience also had a good laugh at some examples of bad data visualization, which Richard presented to show what not to do.

By the end of the session, attendees had an improved understanding of how dashboards and interactive visualizations could be used to enhance data impact, as well as of the types of tools that can be used to create them.

Meanwhile, a series of data-driven interactive presentations explored the impact of plain language summaries (PLS) of publications.

PLS are becoming essential medical communications deliverables, providing an easy-to-understand summary of a peer-reviewed publication for a wide audience, including patients, busy healthcare professionals and policy‑makers.

Oxford PharmaGenesis Senior Medical Writer Adeline Rosenberg joined a panel of other PLS experts – comprising publishers, medical writers and industry leads – to discuss how to enhance the discoverability of PLS, and what guidelines should be followed when creating PLS.

The consensus of the session was that, although increased guidance on PLS development has been welcomed, the next frontier will focus on PLS discoverability to aid their uptake and use in this rapidly evolving field.

Exploring new frontiers

Dr Richard White said: “The ISMPP Annual Meeting provided a wonderful and long-awaited opportunity for medical publications professionals to connect in person once again with friends old and new.

“The diversity of the agenda showed how quickly our industry is evolving – our clients really are looking to explore new frontiers with us! We’re very much looking forward to continuing the conversations from the event.”

To find out more about any of the topics covered in this article, contact us.