ISMPP 6th Annual Meeting: the sound of silence?

I would have completely forgotten that the 6th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals had happened at all last week were it not for some comments that caught my eye in the tweetstream asking where the conversation was, and wondering what 300 or so publication planning professionals were talking about in a hotel somewhere in Arlington, Virginia.

The literal-minded among you can see the conference program here.

I am hoping that all that follows is redundant, and that in fact ISMPP has a burgeoning presence on Twitter, that there was a hashtag with a lively debate threaded through it between scores of participants, and that I’ve simply been looking in the wrong places. Alternatively, perhaps #ashtag stymied the event, and delegate numbers were deracinated.

I’m ready to redact what follows if so, and will be pleased to be set straight.

I am not so obsessed with the social web that I think that all health conversations, everywhere, must be mediated by status updates, linked to social networks, streamed by video, and socially bookmarked. However, if the experiences of the last couple of years have revealed anything at all to those interested in the interlinking, overlapping concerns of the three primary health constituencies (patients and carers, healthcare professionals, and the pharma vertical) it is that conversation is king.

Who was carrying the conversation outside of the room at ISMPP?

The transition from the transactional (directly revenue-generative) to relational (indirectly revenue-generative) economy is having a complex, diverse impact upon – among other things – every point of the drug development, approval, and marketing processes. Reviewing the program linked to above, it’s hard to discern how these developments are being integrated into ISMPP’s world-view.

Just as a case in point, what sort of impact will the rise of open source health research platforms such as CureTogether, with the rich member-reported outcome data it is collating and beginning to redistribute, have upon the process-driven, rigidly monological world-according-to-ISMPP the workshop elements linked to in the program above suggest that the society continues to propagate as contemporary and relevant?

If anything, the very industry that the society is supposed to serve is looking better attuned to the changes that are taking place around it than ISMPP itself is.

What sort of thought leadership is ISMPP providing? What future does it have within the context of an emerging conversational dynamic that it seems unwilling to acknowledge?


One thought on “ISMPP 6th Annual Meeting: the sound of silence?

  1. Thanks for mentioning us, Andrew! It’s an interesting issue – people have asked us whether we will publish our findings in medical journals, but we believe the data wants to be free and not locked away behind subscriber-only access restrictions. So our blog is our publication, for now at least. The way of the future?
    Be well,
    Alexandra Carmichael
    Co-Founder, CureTogether

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