ISMPP West 2019 proved to be a pivotal meeting for the Society’s educational presence on the US West Coast. This second-ever ISMPP West, held November 14-15, 2019, was highly regarded and was well-attended with 124 participants, topping last year’s ISMPP West. Over 20% of the registrants were first-time ISMPP members, offering medical publication and communication professionals an engaging entry to the Society!

With a nod to its San Diego location and drawing from the meeting theme, Changing Tides and Technology in Scientific Communications, the ISMPP West 2019 program topics addressed various changes occurring in our industry and explored technological advances that are impacting the profession.

Workshops Fulfill Educational Needs of New and Experienced Professionals

The three workshops on Day 1 fulfilled the educational needs of newer and more experienced professionals in smaller, interactive group settings. The workshop faculty readily shared their experiences and knowledge of these pertinent topics:

  • Introductory Publication Planning: Building a Robust Publication Plan: New Challenges, Unique Approaches and Recent Developments
  • Digital Advances and Publication Planning: Current Practices and Future Directions
  • Ethics in Publications Practice: Authorship, Transparency, Consequences, and Beyond

Keynote Address

Keynote speaker Sara Radcliffe presented an insightful talk on several developments in health care affecting the West Coast, as well as nationally, including:

  • Major trends from a California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) report on the product development ecosystem in the western region of the US
  • The movement towards diagnostics and digital health, and drugs/devices vs other segments
  • A “toolkit” on how publication professionals can impact public debate by clarifying health care misconceptions

Ms. Radcliffe is the Managing Director of Bayamet, LLC, and previously served as the CLSA founding President & CEO.

Plenary Sessions Cover Long-term Trends and Best Team Practices

Three plenary sessions on Day 2 covered long-term trends in medical publications and best practices for coordinating among medical affairs and publication teams.

  • “Developing Publications for the Ultimate End User – The Patient” discussed how medical communication and publication professionals can help ensure accurate and accessible research is available to patients. The session addressed how to incorporate plain language summaries (PLS) into publication planning, practical considerations for developing PLS, and the dissemination and accessibility of PLS.
  • “Potential Impact of Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence in Scientific Research and Medical Publications” explored cutting-edge technologies that can affect medical publications.
    • The Blockchain segment outlined what blockchain is and how it applies to the publication industry. It also discussed challenges and opportunities of blockchain technology and how it could impact the scientific publication industry.
    • The Artificial Intelligence (AI) segment explored AI’s utility in medical publications, with applications ranging from simulating eye-tracking and visual attention to improve the design of publication formats, applying natural language processing techniques to enhance literature analyses, and automating aspects of manuscript development.
  • “Medical Affairs and Publication Team Coordination to Maximize Publication Use at the Point of Scientific Exchange” addressed how published material is used in broader communications, and discussed how medical publications and medical affairs teams can work together to better facilitate data dissemination, how publications are used to aid medical affairs teams with their communication outputs, and how to enhance teamwork for better data dissemination.

Session slides from ISMPP West 2019 will be available for member access in the ISMPP West Archives on the Society’s website for personal, non-commercial use. In honor of the esteemed faculty, ISMPP presented a charitable donation to

Roundtables and “News You Can Use” – New for 2019!

A Roundtable Session and the fast-paced “News You Can Use” session were added to the ISMPP West program this year, offering attendees timely content and valuable networking. The ISMPP membership was surveyed for which Roundtable topics were most important to them. The selected 13 topics were:

  1. Social Media as a Tool for Publications
  2. Scientific Platforms: Challenges
  3. Best Practices Interacting with Authors
  4. Lay Summaries for Biomedical Journals
  5. Metrics for Publication Impact
  6. Career Development in Scientific Communications/Publications
  7. Data-sharing as a Journal Requirement for Publication
  8. Publication Steering Committees
  9. Engaging HCPs: The Role of Medical Affairs
  10. Hybrid Positions in Publications: Writing and Planning
  11. Open Access and Medical Publications
  12. Communicating RWE from Prespecified Studies
  13. User Experience (UX)/Customer Experience (CX) Factor within the Publications Space

The News You Can Use session succinctly covered these current topics and their impact on the health care industry:

  • Updates to the Sunshine Act
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Amendment Update
  • Health Canada Provides Public Access to Clinical Trial Data

Rob Matheis, ISMPP President and CEO, presented an update on the Society and the ISMPP Certified Medical Publication Professional™ (ISMPP CMPP™) program, prior to the attendees enjoying the Networking Reception at the close of the meeting.

Thank You to Our Exhibitors, Sponsors, and Program Committee!

ISMPP expresses our sincere appreciation to the exhibitors, sponsors, and ISMPP West Program Committee members. Your generous support and dedicated efforts helped build an engaging and successful meeting. Congratulations to all!

Looking Ahead to ISMPP West 2020!

Join us for ISMPP West 2020 in the fall of next year, at a location to be announced. Plan ahead to attend if you’re located on the US West Coast, or even if you’re not. We look forward to the continued excitement of ISMPP West!

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