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.