Digital Jobs in the Medical Communications Industry

Coding I’ve grown up in a technologically turbulent era. I know how that sounds but it really is true. When I’m old and wrinkled I can regale my rapt grandchildren with tales of how I saw mobile phones shrink and grow before my very eyes (and then hopefully shrink again, these black slabs are far more unwieldy than anyone is prepared to admit). Computers have evolved into incredibly whizzy things ready to respond to one’s most outrageous desires at the drop of a hat.

I don’t know what you know (that telepathy app I downloaded recently definitely oversold itself) about coding but this digital paraphernalia doesn’t just magically happen overnight. Someone needs to design the sites, innovate the apps and meticulously construct the code. After which someone else is required in order to make sure that it all works together in conjunction with the hardware and the user.

For those to whom back-end developer, UX architect and middleweight front-end designer are just words, allow me you to enlighten you a little. The back-end code is also known as the brain of an application. The code is written in server side language (e.g. PHP, Python or .Net) and connects with a database to look up, save or change data. This is then returned to the person using the site in front-end code. Back-end code is responsible for actions such as sending a contact form, signing up for a newsletter or editing a page of content.

A back-end developer builds and maintains the technology powering the three components, the server, the application and the database. Understandably, an ideal back-end developer needs to be highly technical with a wealth of digital and coding skills. They also need to work with a front end developer as much of their role will involve ensuring both sets of code communication harmoniously in order to achieve the primary goal. A back end developer will also need to be able translate their work to a team who quite often won’t understand the ins and outs of what the developer does or what’s even possible.

If you hadn’t already noticed, medical communications (like many other sectors) is going digital. Lots of agencies are moving towards providing bespoke offerings in the form of apps, websites, games and such. The pharmaceutical industry is always looking for new ways to spread information and embracing new technologies is a great way to get the word out about the latest product. In order to excel in this endeavour there is a growing need to bring on board the men and women who know how to make the machine go ping!

So what’s in it for a coder? Why MedComms?

I can pitch this question at graduates looking to break into industry (we do in fact run a whole assessment centre designed to give junior candidates the boost required to secure their first medical communications role!). Those with heavy digital experience are going to have different motivating factors.

For one thing, it’s an industry always able to provide variety. Agencies get themselves involved in a whole host of weird and wonderful projects across a dizzying array of formats and pitched at a range of audiences. You can find yourself going from launching a website aimed at healthcare professionals and experts in the field to a patient engagement app to an online advertising campaign specifically designed to appeal to children and more. There are so very many ways to build awareness about the latest brand.

It is healthcare but that’s the only constant factor, there’s no predicting what an agency might come out with next and that can be incredibly exciting. Medical Communications is an area that’s really blossoming in terms of digital projects. Webinars, websites, data sharing platforms, games and more – there’s plenty to get stuck into!

In fact, we happen to have a few digital based roles we are currently working on so please do get in touch to hear more!

You can call me on 0118 9522 792 or email at


Career Advice, MedComms Professionals