Innovation: The New Tradition

Costello Medical colleagues recently attended The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) EU 2024 meeting. The theme of “Innovation: The New Tradition” was captured in several plenary and breakout sessions, broadly grouped into three topical themes: Innovation, Collaboration and Evaluation. Here, we summarise our main takeaways from the meeting, and the actions that we believe Publication Professionals should adopt in 2024.

The Role of AI and Automation in Publications

AI and automation represented a substantial proportion of the meeting, being a topic of discussion in almost every session. While there is excitement about the potential of AI to be one of the biggest innovations in our industry, with its ability to streamline processes and enhance communication strategies, there must remain a level of caution regarding its application. Any use of AI requires thorough planning to ensure that its application is suitable for the desired end goal.

The shift towards leveraging technology to improve the efficiency and quality of medical publications raises the challenging question of how much we should be looking to integrate it within our day-to-day work.


Graphic highlighting a takeaway point

Publication Professionals need to embrace AI but care should be taken to ensure 
it is used for the right purpose, at the right time, with the right goal in mind.

Tailoring of Publications and Patient Engagement

The concept of innovation again stood at the forefront, suggesting a future where content is not only accessible but is also intelligently recommended to readers based on their interests and needs. This highlights a potential shift towards more personalised and engaging scientific communication. Such models could revolutionise the way medical professionals and researchers access and interact with the latest findings, making keeping up to date with scientific advances more tailored and accessible.

Planning early

To confirm the intended audience and objective

Selecting the appropriate enhancement type

For the intended audience

Adopting an omnichannel approach

To personalise the user experience

The need to tailor publication enhancements and extenders to the anticipated audience, from the general public to non-expert healthcare professionals (HCPs), is more important than ever. This will ensure that the intended impact of a publication or its accompanying material is achieved; from helping patients to understand their disease or condition to HCPs instigating changes to their clinical practice based on the evidence they have read.

Graphic highlighting a takeaway point

Publication Professionals should recognise the nuanced requirements of different reader groups and the importance of tailoring style and language of communications to the specific target audience.

Graphic depicting the Future Directions for Evaluating Publication Impact

Future Directions for Evaluating Publication Impact

A main concern about evaluating publication impact was the lack of standardisation between journal-level, article-level and content performance metrics. The need to go beyond quantitative metrics to discern the true impact of publications, considering the intended audience of the publication, means qualitative metrics are becoming increasingly desired.

The focus extended beyond mere article reach, emphasising the need to understand if insights derived from publications are effectively informing medical and publication strategy and resulting in behavioural shifts in clinical practice.

Graphic highlighting a takeaway point

Publication Professionals must acknowledge the evolving dynamics of healthcare communication, being 
mindful and considerate of how metrics can be used or improved to give a more 
holistic view of article impact.


In conclusion, the ISMPP EU 2024 conference has illuminated the path towards a future where innovation is essential in medical publication and communication. Through the exploration of new content delivery models and the strategic application of AI, we were all given a glimpse into a more accessible, personalised, and technologically advanced future for medical publications.

This represents a significant step forward in the pursuit of disseminating medical knowledge in a manner that is both impactful and aligned with the needs of diverse audiences.

We are proud to share…

Prize Winners at ISMPP EU

In collaboration with Sage Publishing, we asked healthcare professionals what influences their interactions with peer reviewed articles, as authors or readers. We were recipients of the prize ‘Most Reflective of the Meeting Theme’ for the corresponding poster. Our accompanying educational resource, Your Guide to Choosing the Right Journal for Your Article is available to view now.

View Our Educational Resource

Our Capabilities at Costello Medical

  • If you are interested in our medical communications services please contact Helen Chambers.
  • We are dedicated to finding technical solutions for ourselves and our clients, if you are interested in our capabilities please contact Sara Steeves.
  • As a B Corp certified agency we are keen to encourage others to join us in making their business practices more sustainable, if you would like to join our network of like-minded professionals, contact Lucy Eddowes.

If you would like any further information on the themes presented above, please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Clements, Publication Manager (LinkedIn), Matthew Walker, Senior Project Coordinator or Alexa Holland, Senior Medical Writer (LinkedIn). Sarah, Matthew and Alexa are employees at Costello Medical. The views/opinions expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Costello Medical’s clients/affiliated partners.


Abbreviations. AI: artificial intelligence; HCP: health care professional; ISMPP: International Society for Medical Publication Professionals; PLS: plain language summary; SLR: systematic literature review.

[1] McMinn et al., Seeing it in the Flesch: Comparing readability between AI-generated and human-written plain-language abstracts. P32, ISMPP EU 2024.