Medical Communications: Sharing Knowledge Towards Enabling Effective Healthcare Service Delivery

Medical communications is a general term for the development and production of materials that deal specifically with medicine or healthcare. Scientific and medical communication is essential for all scientific and pharmaceutical business wishing to share their data with the scientific community, healthcare professionals, patients or health authorities.

The need for medical communications in serving the healthcare sectors lies behind the fact of mixing scientific insights with relevant scientific data which are ethically Good Publication Practice (GPP2) guidelines approved. This will create awareness among different communities of healthcare providers along with clients. In addition to this, preparation of medical communication is based on the target audience, who will be the end user of the relevant documents.

Medical writers have expertise in writing, editing, and developing materials related to medicine and health. The tasks include gathering, organizing, interpreting and presenting information in a manner appropriate for the client. Professional medical communicators have communications expertise, awareness of ethical standards and healthcare knowledge. Materials prepared by them, in collaboration with public, private or NGO firms includes: Patient education brochures, News articles, Web content, Books, Journal articles and Education monographs. Besides this, some regulatory documents for submission in government agencies of different countries are also prepared. Preparation of literatures for product promotion, sales training and marketing materials for the pharmaceutical companies constitute vital role in medical communications.

Besides these, there are certain medical communications agencies which provide consultancy services to the pharmaceutical industry, advising them on maximizing the dissemination of the available clinical data and devising campaigns to help the drug gain a slice of the limelight in a crowded marketplace. As far as medical education is considered, the role of medical communication is to advice the company on how best to educate and inform its customers (i.e. doctors, nurses, hospital managers, pharmacists, patients) about the risks and benefits of the therapy using clinical and economic data. All materials must comply with best practice guidelines, as issued by regulatory authorities like European Medical Writers Association and the International society for Medical Publication Professionals.

Health Information and communication technology (HICT) has played key role in delivering the information in very rapid succession. The presence of computers in the examination room has already transformed the traditional patient-doctor relationship from dyadic to triadic. It is now an interaction between the patient, the doctor and the computer.

Searching the World Wide Web for healthcare information is second only to searching for sites related to sex, while multiple forms of social media, now increasingly mobile, are challenging the limits of healthcare providers’ professionalism. Nowadays, physician digital consultation network is gaining popularity along with the use of iPads and Skype are also in routine medical practice. Web based patient support groups, information sites and patient oriented health interventions are also few important medium of communication.

The Good Publication Practice (GPP2) guidelines is framed to maintain ethical practices and comply with current requirements when they contribute to the communication of medical research sponsored by companies. These guidelines apply to peer reviewed journal articles and presentations at scientific congresses.

Importance of Medical Equipment Innovation

With ongoing research and development in medical technologies, doctors are better equipped to treat the patients with a greater chance of cure.

Medical Research and Technology

Scientists are constantly testing out new equipment and procedures to shorten operation periods whilst boosting life span. Moreover, they are also trying out new drugs for better treatment and even cure of prevalent disease.

With the help of medical technology, scientists reached into cellular level of germs and their antibodies. We already know how the discovery of vaccines helped control malaria, MMR, polio and other such illnesses, saving thousands of lives worldwide. As per the World Health Organization, vaccines save 3 million lives each year.

Importance of Innovation in Medicine

The life cycle of a medical product ranges from 18-20 months. This is still better that many industries, such as Information technology, but improvements still need to be made. Also note that innovation isn’t just about improving the quality of care; it is also about maintaining and sustaining better healthcare systems.

And even while less than 10% of national health budget was apportioned to medical equipment innovation during the fiscal year of 2000-2008, advances in medical technology have decreased the prolonged hospital stays by 13%.

Moreover, huge cost savings have been recorded with the inception of outpatient care from in-patient care. Quality of life has improved over the period as well. Given the amount of ageing population and the current economic climate, medical cost saving was imperative.

For instance, Cataract surgery, which was previously a 3-5 day inpatient session, has now been reduced to a day care centre operation. Also, total knee replacements are proving to be better in terms of saving costs and locomotion of patients. And these are just a few examples we can find.

If we move further, chronic conditions such as arthritis and cataracts prevented patients from returning to their daily routines. With medical equipment innovation, the time taken to return back to their everyday lives has been significantly reduced. This also boosts the self-esteem of patients whose medical condition can hinder their physical independence.

In the long run, medical innovation not only creates healthier and happier people, but stronger economies as well. This is because healthier people can contribute more effectively to a country’s GDP.

Emerging Medical Equipment Technologies

Melanoma biopsies

Melanoma is a chronic form of skin cancer. Melanoma is extremely dangerous mole looking harmless on the outside until a surgical biopsy isn’t conducted. Now, dermatologists have come up with a portable tool, approved by FDA for analyzing tissue morphology. MelaFind optical scanner is now used to determine the need of biopsy.

Electronic Aspirin

People suffer from cluster headaches, migraines and other chronic head pains due to pain in a facial nerve bundle called sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG). A new tool has emerged for blocking out the SPG signals on their inception, being called the electronic aspirin.

Needle-Free Diabetes

Diabetes care is a severely painful process for the patient involving glucose testing, daily dosages of insulin and further risk of infection from excessive injection needles. Glucose monitors and insulin pumps have reduced the troublesome process to a certain extent. A biosensor is placed on the top layer of the human skin for signaling levels of sugar. This will do with away with the needle used to take blood samples.