Artificial Intelligence within Medical Communications
23rd November 2023
Written by HRS Communications
Navigating the use of Artificial Intelligence in Medical Writing can be challenging. HRS attended MedComm Webinars from experts in AI: ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) in MedComms: Past, Present and Future’ with Matt Lewis and ‘Embracing the AI Era in Medical Writing’ with Alex Evans to learn about benefits and challenges of using AI in MedComms. If you didn’t get a chance to attend these webinars, these are our key take-aways from the sessions:
Alex Evans delivered a live demonstration showing the use of AI (Write Sonic) to create an educational article. The article discussed food to eat for healthy hair, skin and nails, which he went on to compare to a Healthline article covering the same topic: ‘Add These 8 Foods to Your Diet for Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails’, which was medically reviewed by a registered dietitian. The purpose of the demo was to show the use of an AI tool to create content comparable to that written and reviewed by medical writers. In comparing the two articles, he demonstrated that the AI tool could deliver accurate information like that of the Healthline article. In fact, the AI tool gave additional information, however the accuracy of this information was not fact-checked due to time constraints. He then went on to show the importance of specificity when asking an AI tool to create a piece of content and demonstrating the differences in finished products depending on the prompt given.
Top tips for using AI in MedComms:
- Put in the same prompt to multiple writers- compare to find the best output or even mix and match with the different outputs produced to create a better one. AI generated articles generally follow a bell curve of quality.
- It can be too much to try and learn all AI generators available. It’s best to trial three to four generators and choose the ones that suit you best.
- Only give the AI generator four to five subjects to write on at a time if you want to keep a substantial length to the answers.
- Use the highest quality writing possible. Premium AI tools produce output of a much higher standard, whilst others are free but compromise on quality.
- Remember your audience when choosing an AI tool– some AI generators only use US English.
- Remember to edit the resulting article to suit the style of publication – whether that be for a journal or online article.
- Double check any references given by the AI generator- they may be repeated multiple times, or incorrect.
- Be specific when asking for a product- ask the AI generator for exactly what you want it to produce. Remember to detail the target audience so that the language is adjusted accordingly.
- Become familiar with AI generators- don’t be afraid! Use this time to play around with and become comfortable using AI.
Like anything, AI has its benefits and its limitations. However, AI is here to stay, so let’s discuss how it can complement your business.
- Firstly, AI is incredibly easy to use, and therefore accessible to everyone. Ask it a question, or to do something, talk to it, write to it… you’ll get an answer.
- Using AI will make work smarter. It brings more possibility and helps us to think outside the box.
- The output produced may provide you with new ideas, new ways of doing things, that you may not necessarily have thought of yourself. Take what you like and leave what you don’t want!
- AI can provide new ways of delivering content and making it more engaging. The content produced will be appropriate for the target audience.
- AI works very quickly, saving you time and increasing your capacity.
- AI can add in relevant images, diagrams or references to enhance the output and improve delivery and design.
Despite being a transformative tool in the MedComms space, it doesn’t come without a few things to watch out for!
- To get an output that gives you what you want, you need to be really specific with the input, adding in all the necessary details.
- It still requires you to check the output through for mistakes and edit it accordingly. It can’t be fully trusted to meet every demand of the assignment.
- You’ll need to check that the references are correct, referencing the correct source, and in the right style.
- It takes some time to learn the ropes and really use it to your advantage!
Will AI take my job as a medical writer?
Of course, this is a worry for many in the MedComms space. AI may be best used during the initial stages of medical writing; generating ideas or perhaps to gain a different perspective on a new topic. As a medical writer, it will be essential for you to edit the output, fact-check it, and tweek it to produce a piece of work that you can be proud of. Understand and learn how to use AI as a tool to your advantage.
If you would like to read more about how AI compares to one of HRS Communication’s medical writers: read this HRS blog: Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) the future for scientific content creation?
Hollie Boyd, Student
Isabella Cotton, Student