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AI 101: Guide for medical writers

March 18, 2024
Artificial Intelligence
Emmanuel Walckenaer
By Emmanuel Walckenaer

Over the last several years, artificial intelligence (AI) has progressed immensely - quickly becoming an integral part of how humans operate and perform daily tasks. Particularly, the use of AI in medical writing has proven to be impactful for reducing time-consuming tasks and eliminating costly human errors while also accelerating the time it takes to introduce a new drug to market. AI technologies are capable of eliminating weeks of rigorous work by generating content at a rapid pace and simplifying processes.

Since implementing AI is a newer concept to medical writers, jumping right in could pose challenges. In fact, a recent study found that physicians and medical students had a 38% awareness rate of using AI but almost 53% of them lacked basic knowledge of clinical AI and any education on how it works. In order for medical writers to understand all that AI has to offer and feel comfortable adopting new automation solutions, it's critical to be familiar with common AI terms and understand the steps to best begin.

Establish goals
When it comes to integrating AI technologies into an organization, the first step is to analyze the overarching goals and set realistic timelines. Stakeholders and medical writers should align on what the technologies are here to accomplish. Firms are integrating AI in organizations for:

● Increase efficiency: to automate mundane tasks and free up time for more complex work
● Improve accuracy: to reduce errors and improve accuracy of regulatory medical documents
● Accelerate timelines: to automate time consuming tasks and enable critical documents to be delivered faster

After establishing goals and outlining potential benefits, prioritize what documents to automate. A strong benefit of implementing AI technologies is that it can reduce workloads and improve long-form content creation and analysis. With many documents required by the FDA or EDCTP including clinical study reports (CSR) and patient narratives, it’s important to identify what documents can most urgently benefit from content automation.

Get relevant departments on board
With an increased pressure to keep up with growing industry demands, medical writers can greatly benefit from AI. Explaining all the benefits to get the entire team on board is essential. Benefits include:

● Expediting report automation. Traditionally, producing various clinical documents like the CSR could take weeks to months to complete. With that, it’s important to have the right data and documents to produce CSRs accurately and in a timely manner. AI can automate writing sections of a CSR, saving medical writers an enormous amount of time. Solutions are available that slash allotted writing time from 4 hours to 4 seconds, ultimately allowing writers to focus on more strategic thinking tasks.

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