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Home > Keynote Presentation: A View Toward 2020: What Should Medical Publication Professionals Should Be Doing Now?

Keynote Presentation: A View Toward 2020: What Should Medical Publication Professionals Should Be Doing Now?

Back in April, I opened the 2011 International Society of Medical Publication Professionals annual conference in Washington. Their newsletter on the conference is now out, with a report on my keynote.

The meeting opened Monday afternoon with Jim Carroll’s keynote presentation, which focused on the importance of innovation and on future changes that may occur with healthcare and the practice of medicine.

According to Mr. Carroll, “So much change is going on in the world today that every organization is struggling with what will happen in the future.” To drive home the point that “the future belongs to those who are fast,” Mr. Carroll shared three statistics that he carries with him:

  • 65% of children in preschool today will work in jobs that do not yet exist
  • 50% of material learned in the first year of a college-science degree will be obsolete by the time of graduation
  • • A manufacturer has only 3-6 months to sell a new digital camera before it becomes obsolete

To highlight the rapid pace of technology, Mr. Carroll used several interactive “text” polls where he asked a question of the audience who used their cell phones to text in their answers. Mr. Carroll noted that the world is changing quickly and that 2-3 years ago, very few people would have been comfortable texting a response to a question asked at a meeting.

Mr. Carroll then discussed how companies need to embrace the rapid speed of innovation to remain successful. He described how the head of innovation at General Electric studied innovation during times of economic downturn and found that 60% of companies barely survived such a downturn. However, the 10% of companies that focused their dollars on innovation were the companies that came out in a positive position when the economic recovery happened. Those that didn’t developed “organizational sclerosis,” which shuts down the ability to innovate and adapt to changing environments.

Mr. Carroll then quoted from his book: “Some people see a trend and see a threat—other people see the same trend and see an opportunity.”

Over the next 10 years, Mr. Carroll predicted that major changes will occur regarding healthcare, the environment, and energy. He then described several trends that will result from these changes including:

  • Movement to a model of preventive healthcare.
  • Embracing Health 2.0 (referring to when patient records are all electronic).
  • Connecting all relevant devices. For example, a cell phone connected to a biometric sensing system could allow your doctor to monitor your blood pressure via your phone. As a result of bioconnectivity, more healthcare will occur through virtual care instead of at hospitals, extending the reach of the primary care provider to the home.
  • Utilizing the power of the cloud, which is the mass of data that exists on remote servers or social networks (outside of hard drives).
  • Delivering medical knowledge to providers as needed (ie, the concept of “just in time knowledge”). Mr. Carroll noted that medical knowledge is doubling every 8 years.
  • Developing systems that can handle the new scientific velocity.
  • Developing innovations based on an optimism for the future.

Challenges for such innovation may include the velocity of change, ethics (what is considered ethical may vary in different parts of the world), and the ability of regulatory systems to keep up with scientific velocity.

Mr. Carroll concluded by stressing how ISMPP needs to become more aggressive in educating others about the important role of those involved in developing medical publications. Mr. Carroll ended his talk with what he described as Ten Great Words:

  1. Observe – Pick up knowledge.
  2. Think – Think about the message and how to provide Big Bold Solutions.
  3. Change – What can you change personally?
  4. Dare – Watch for 3 ideas you think you would never do and then try them.
  5. Banish – Discard anything that is an innovation killer.
  6. Try – Try 3 things you said you would.
  7. Question – Challenge the assumptions.
  8. Growth – Challenge yourself to grow.
  9. Do – What do I, myself, need to do?
  10. Enjoy – Enjoy what you are doing!


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