A MEDICAL EDITOR GETS A DIGITAL MAKEOVER

I love makeover reality TV, experts transforming homes, hairstyles and wardrobes. I’ve undergone a career makeover—not an extreme one, but certainly redefined. Medical editing mainly involves adherence to style and grammar rules, consistency and fact checks. Now, as a brand editor for an all-digital team, an added part of my job here at the New York offices of Havas Life Metro, is to understand each project’s specifications. I’ve become a student of functionality—clicks, taps, scrolls, swipes, pop-ups, buttons, and burger and navigation menus. Along with websites and iPad presentations, I now review content and site maps, wireframes, SEO manuscripts, design comps and metadata.  

To me, this technology explosion in medical marketing can be summed up in a word—adaptation. The rate of adaptation of devices among professionals and patients alike is remarkable. “The iPad is a game-changer in health care,” says Michael Hedges, Medtronic’s CIO. Nearly 90% of physicians use a smartphone or a tablet in their practices. They are twice more likely to reference an online resource than a print piece. Thirty-five percent of patients used their smartphones to research a prescription drug in 2013.* The demand for pharmaceutical companies to produce responsive websites, utilizing the same HTML for multiple devices, continues. Thinking beyond text is a skill that digital agency editors employ.

From these new staging environments come new observations: How does content “live” on a page? What type of build occurs on an interactive image? I absorb digital insight wherever I can, for example, from Google’s Art, Copy & Code. It is also truly inspiring—learning and being surrounded by talented team members. A developer colleague recently shared with me the model-view-controller (MVC), a straightforward yet complex software pattern applied in building user interfaces. “I code in multiple languages and layers—so what the user often sees is a ‘Frankensteined’ version of text and images.” A transformation indeed, even though I don’t like scary movies!

*Manhattan Research