Inside MAPS Americas 2024 annual meeting

A picture paints a thousand words: Insights from the MAPS Meeting 

In the vibrant hubbub of the recent MAPS (Medical Affairs Professional Society) meeting, the IPG Health Medical Communications booth buzzed with an exciting fusion of art and insight.  

Drawing to answer the question "What future will you create" that was created as the discussion occurred.

Hannah, from Studio Rx, a digital-first global production IPG Health company, captured the essence of conversations, painting a bold vision for Medical Affairs.

A key area of discussion captured on the wall was the crucial role Medical Affairs plays in connecting disparate healthcare segments, bridging the silos while also narrowing the gap between high aspirations and the starkness of clinical realities. Our approach? To be proactive, purposeful, and anchored in a triad of values: curiosity, courage, and collaboration. 

Opening Keynote: Deep purpose with Ranjay Gulati, PhD 

Dr. Ranjay Gulati inspired the audience to focus their efforts and growing presence within the industry through proactive thought leadership. He provided several examples of how leaders can inspire change and noted that a leader’s work was to:  

  1. Think differently: a leader must make sound judgment based on the information at hand and convey clarity of thought 
  2. Relate differently: a leader develops strong, diverse relationships 
  3. Act differently: a leader has a bias toward action – they don’t wait to make decisions 
  4. Be different: a leader embraces differences within/across teams and leads with purpose 

Dr. Gulati provided an interesting take on how each of us may interpret our work as either a job, career, or a calling and that all of us can be called to be leaders at any level within our organizations. He encouraged leaders across the industry to find common ambitions, to develop trust, to inspire change, and to find a balance of creating both challenging and supporting environments for our teammates to collaborate and grow together.  

Opening Plenary: Medical misinformation: Dr. Geeta Nayyar, MD, MBA 

Dr. Nayyar shared that the consumer is “hungry” for health technology, but the important role of industry and healthcare systems in this market is critical, since tech companies do not understand healthcare. At the same time, retailers are entering this market and changing the game, driven by their knowledge of the consumer.  '

Misinformation grows in the dark. Medical Affairs must be the torchbearer, ensuring that clear, balanced communication dispels the shadows of doubt.

Misinformation is information that is factually incorrect. Disinformation is the intentional manipulation of information to confuse people. Technology has led to mis- and disinformation spreading six times faster than the facts. While 92% of Americans still trust their doctors, 52% do not trust the quality of the healthcare system.  

The Know, Like, Trust Model will allow healthcare systems to win that trust back:

the consumer/patient is aware of you 

feel like they can relate to their provider

when there is a crisis or a need, the consumer/patient can access their healthcare system and provider 

Dr. Nayyar charged MAPS to drive policy change as a way for healthcare and the pharma industry to make a difference and push back against mis- and disinformation. 

Omnichannel for Medical Affairs – Bridging the gap between aspiration and reality workshop 

IPG Health Medical Communications was pleased to partner with faculty members from Pfizer and Teva to present two omnichannel workshops.  

The standing-room only workshops focused on providing attendees with actionable strategies for delivering a consistent, personalized customer experience and recognizing insights available to Medical Affairs teams to tailor those omnichannel communication strategies.  

Their presentation may be accessed here: Monday - OneDrive ( 

Closing Plenary: The artificial intelligence frontier for medical affairs and a vision for tomorrow 

The panelists discussed how AI can be central or centrally meaningful to the world of Medical Affairs. They were enthusiastic about the application of AI in the following general scenarios: 

  • Harnessing a higher volume of technical and scientific information by automating data analysis and freeing individuals to perform more strategic work/external interactions 

  • Acting as a copilot to human experts by identifying what is and is not important from data (e.g., claims data, literature references) and pivoting strategy quicker based on faster distillation of information 

  • More lucid writing to create accessible content and increase access (e.g., using algorithms to create responses to physician questions based on medical information requests) 

  • Machine learning to read slides or count cells, making labs more efficient 

  • Reviewing mass amounts of scientific literature to find insights on certain diseases, avoiding the need to read every single article on a particular disease state 

  • Interpretation of voluminous patient records to make more informed decisions on treatment while factoring in the individual patient (e.g., lifestyle, exercise, diet, concomitant medications) 

Despite the benefits of AI, the panel cautioned that AI outputs will still require human intervention. Data sets will still have to be curated for machines to be taught how to properly analyze and output what is needed for Medical Affairs strategy. For Medical Affairs, it's about enhancing the ability to curate and be the conduit for information that will ultimately serve patients and improve outcomes.