AI 101: Guide for medical writers

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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

Contact us to learn about Generative AI for medical and regulatory writing

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.
  • Preventing burnout. With high pressure deadlines and limited time to analyze mounds of data, medical writers are under tremendous pressure to produce. The human brain is not made to endure long hours sifting through endless amounts of data, which is why automation can significantly prevent burnout – leading to happier employees and greater productivity.
  • Enhancing quality of writing. AI technologies can improve the consistency across documents, different writers and simplify regulatory approval through increased quality and accuracy.
  • Improving how the organization operates. AI technologies can help organizations transform, significantly improve how their businesses operate. Alleviating medical writers of time-consuming tasks allows them to focus on other strategic functions. 
Break down the AI alphabet soup   

While there are many components of AI, it’s important for medical writers to understand terms frequently utilized. Common terms include, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Language Generation (NLG), Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Large Language Models (LLMs).

Generative AI garnered mainstream attention with tools such as ChatGPT. Generative AI uses LLMs and advanced machine learning to create human-like text by pulling from existing data and experiences to generate new content. LLMs can expand, develop, and specialize AI models.
Generative AI technologies can automate parts of the clinical document landscape, allowing medical writers to be more productive and efficient, while helping to pass strict regulatory requirements.

With that, NLP enables computers to understand the complexity of human language as it is spoken and written, using AI, linguistics, and deep machine learning to process and understand real-world input in an efficient manner. NLP has two subsections – NLG and NLU. NLG software turns structured data into written reports, providing explanations and narratives at the speed of thousands of pages per second. NLG can summarize large quantities of data, automating the writing of medical reports. 

Select a vendor that understands your goals  
Overall, choosing a vendor may sound simple, but it’s critical to ensure the chosen one is aligned with all established goals and objectives. Particularly for medical writers, the right vendor must be specifically suited for highly regulated industries and be able to address critical challenges in security and compliance. In turn, the right vendor will be able to assist medical writers with the high stakes writing and review process accurately and at scale. Think of the vendor as a digital colleague that is a reliable source to help slash writing times and improve consistency of reports.

By 2030, the global AI in medical writing market is predicted to reach a value of $1.76 billion, growing at a CAGR of 12.44% from 2023 to 2030. While AI technologies have the potential to revolutionize medical writing, it’s important for medical writers to be well-versed on the ins and outs and embrace changes.

Understanding that there may be a learning curve is critical for the overall growth and success of the organization. As we look to the future, the impact of AI will only continue to grow as individuals unlock more of its innovative applications in daily work and life.
Yseop Generative AI    

It’s important to recognize that AI is more than just a tool. It has the ability to learn and make decisions based on content it has access to. With that, integrating technology into the workplace is most effective when done in a meaningful way. AI should be considered as a powerful amplifier or ally, rather than a replacement. As the leader in generative AI, Yseop changes the way content automation solutions are delivered with a human-centric, AI platform. Yseop Copilot is reimagining the future of work for pharmaceutical companies. 

To learn more about Yseop Copilot, start your free automated content generation trial here. For more information on how we can help your organization, please contact 

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