ISMPP 2023 Annual Meeting highlights

In its 19th annual conference, ISMPP (The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals) 2023 focused on the theme of Patients First, where patients are no longer just the end user in the medicines-development lifecycle. This year’s conference had record high attendance, with more than 700 leaders joining together to discuss the future of medical communications and research.

IPG Health Medical Communications is extremely proud of our International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) award winners and finalists, plenary presenters, parallel session moderators, roundtable facilitators, and poster authors for their ongoing leadership and commitment to the industry.

Please continue reading for some highlights from this year’s ISMPP Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, held April 24–26, 2023.


IPG Health Medical Communications ISMPP Award winners

Dana Fox, SVP, Portfolio Director with Caudex, won the first ever CMPP Award, which recognizes her commitment to ethical and transparent data dissemination standards, and leadership in upholding and fostering integrity and excellence in medical publications.

Caudex team members, along with colleagues from SOLVE(D) earned a coveted oral presentation slot and won the Best Original Research Award for their work looking at “What do doctors really do on the internet?”

CMC Connect, Caudex, CMC Affinity, Complete HealthVizion, and IPG Health Medical Communications team members joined together to create the poster titled “Are conference presentations accessible? Insights from an online survey to improve equity,” which won the Publication Star Award.


Key session recaps

Keynote: The 4th industrial revolution in life science: reshaping healthcare and medical communication with AI 

Loubna Bouarfa, of, opened with a need to provide sustainable healthcare for a global population that will soon be over 9 billion people, and to grow healthcare economies through precision and individualization. Following on from this premise, Dr. Bouarfa emphasized the current and potential uses of machine learning/AI to learn and predict health outcomes that could be affected by pharmaceutical treatments.

AI has reached an inflection point where adoption is an urge in healthcare; the data and regulatory barriers are not too big to tackle. Trustworthy AI models must be designed be inclusive and avoid bias. AI has the great advantage of speed, but it has difficulty respecting ethical and moral boundaries. We are going to face fake publications. How can we find a signal in all the noise? Be proactive early. Determine what should be automated first. 

A reinvention of medical publishing and communications should start with medical publications professionals.


Prioritizing omnichannel investments based on behaviors

In the oral presentation “What do doctors really do on the internet?” Gary Burd, Head of Medical Services with Caudex, shared the award-winning findings. Oncologists watch more long-form videos on YouTube. Primary care physicians are more active on social media. And all specialties spend more time on online medical education platforms than they do reading medical publications. Using the power of data analytics and IPG Health’s passive tracking tool, they tracked what 313 doctors did on the internet. We use this approach to make smart decisions about where to direct our media, medical education, and publications enhancements.

Caudex also took part in a parallel session that explored how data on healthcare professional and patient behaviors are powering our decision making. As medical publications approaches become more omnichannel, we can use data to understand our audiences more deeply and determine how best to reach them. “It’s amazing the differences we can determine between say, oncologists and cardiologists, and how they behave when consuming medical content,” says Gary. “Just knowing oncologists love video formats, and are more likely to attend congresses, helps us prioritize investment in publications enhancements to the right channels. The data are so powerful!"


Keynote: Four crises in science and communication 

Derek Thompson, Staff Writer with The Atlantic, addressed four crises in science and communication:

  • Meta-science question that explores what we know about how science is working and whether it can work better
  • Patient-involvement question and how much feedback from patients and the public is useful
  • Clarity question and improving communication between medical professionals, patients, and the public
  • AI question, focusing on making sense of the current moment in technology

After highlighting the crises and challenges of funding breakthrough scientific research, Derek explored the ethics and rules that should govern these breakthroughs and encouraged public participation in the conversations. He cautioned that public conversation does not necessarily lead to wisdom. He suggested scientists should be realistic about how the public and the media will think and talk about this technology.

Derek discussed the importance of speaking plainly and accurately in science to combat the doubts and confusion caused by miscommunication and complicated language. Using complicated language and jargon to convey sophistication often backfires, leading the writer or speaker to come across as less intelligent. Simple language, alternatively, takes a lot of work, but is effective in expressing complicated truths. Therefore, it is important to communicate accurately and clearly in science to maintain trust among audiences.


Bringing the patient voice into clinical research: Patient participation on study steering committees, protocols, and publications 

The Sanofi and Health Union LLC panelists discussed the challenges and benefits of incorporating patients into clinical research. Currently, many patients are only involved during the clinical trial period, and do not inform the direction of research. Including patients as authors can be an afterthought; it can be difficult to find patient authors or reviewers at the last minute. Therefore, incorporating patients as consultants, authors, or reviewers is best done from the early planning stages.  

Benefits of having patients involved in clinical trial development may include:

  • Helping to ensure relevant outcomes for patients. For example, patients with dry eyes were more interested in the frequency of applying eye drops, whereas researchers were focused on tear film integrity measures
  • Reviewing informed consent procedures and protocol design to identify potential barriers or burdens to patient participation that otherwise may be overlooked. Examples included (a) combining measurements into fewer patient visits to lessen the burden of traveling to the clinic, and (b) for a study on migraine treatment, where it is difficult to focus on a bright screen to record symptoms during a migraine
  • Wider distribution of materials. Manuscripts with patient authors tend to be more widely shared, increasing the impact. Once published, patients often act as intermediaries to post information on social networks


IPG Health Medical Communications is a Proud Titanium sponsor of ISMPP.