December 7, 2023

How a Life Sciences Researcher Uses Paligo for Efficient Documentation

image shows researchers documenting work

Yi Chun Wang, who is currently pursing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, has an insightful overview of how advances in medical imaging can be used to improve diagnosis, treatment and beyond. At the medical technology company where she works, teams need to provide instructional documentation to hospitals as well as documentation to regulatory agencies. Wang explains how Paligo helps them speed up content production and increase consistency for efficient documentation.

“At first, I didn’t know much about technical writing, since academic writing and technical writing are very different,” says Wang. “I didn’t know about single-source publishing or the various platforms that support it. When we needed to produce scalable documentation, however, we realized that this type of writing, single-source authoring, exists.”

Creating training documentation for image scanners

Although Wang now works as a biomarker scientist, in her previous role as an imaging applications scientist, she helped organize the company’s technical documentation. Part of the documentation is instructions for hospitals on how to use the company’s tailored solutions with imaging scanners provided by different manufacturers.

“We basically need to provide customized training documents for different hospitals, and each hospital will use their existing scanner. However, the medical images produced after the scan need to be consistent across platforms, which means we need to change only part of the training documentation while keeping the majority of it consistent.”

The Paligo component content management system (CCMS) is designed to handle exactly this type of challenge, creating variations of content and enabling easy content reuse. Once Wang learned how to use Paligo, she began training others in the company on how to use the system, including making video tutorials for specific use cases.

“I created a consistent documentation workflow, as well as an internal training document for my colleagues and other teams,” she says. “Since then, the internal collaboration between the imaging team and the regulatory team on technical documentation become much more streamlined and improved”

Drastically reducing production time for documentation

Wang says that it can take time to learn how to produce content in a CCMS, but once you get the hang of it, there are many benefits.

“For first-time users, it might not be obvious how to construct documents in a CCMS,” she says. “We naturally want to write things in a linear manner, but with Paligo you piece together the whole document in a very granular way, and the layout and design are also separate. So bringing people up to speed on producing a document in this way is what takes the most time.”

After users learn this granular approach, Wang says, it enables them to rapidly scale production.

“Paligo has drastically reduced the amount of time needed to create documentation,” she says. “Instead of creating one document at a time, we can create three at the same time, with the variations between them controlled by a database.”

Delegating content production to more people

Using Paligo also enables more junior technical writers to create efficient documentation, Wang says, which saves time for more senior subject matter experts.

“In the field of medical science, you’re often focusing on very niche areas, such as specific diseases or technology,” she says. “Before we started using Paligo, a more experienced imaging specialist would need to write an entire document. Now with Paligo, we’re able to bring in people that are more junior in the subject matter to produce documents, which can later be reviewed by senior experts.”

Producing professional-looking PDFs for hospitals

Since the company where Wang works creates documentation for hospitals, sharing the information online is not an option due to a lack of connectivity and security issues. With Paligo, however, they can create nicely designed PDFs with more consistent content.

“When you share documentation with a high level of consistency and with a sleek design, it can give the organizations that work with you more confidence in you as a partner,” she says. “It makes them more willing to work with you. In a very busy clinical environment, you especially want people to have something they are familiar with, and keeping documentation consistent (even the look of it) is quite important. ”

When to use Paligo for life sciences documentation

Wang says that using Paligo is a good choice for life sciences companies that have core documentation that can be reused and that need to scale documentation quickly.

“Medical imaging is an important part of medical examinations, and it can be applied to almost every disease type,” she says. “That’s why having a system like Paligo, which allows you to scale documentation production, is very helpful.”

To see if Paligo would be a good fit for them, Wang says that companies should evaluate their different types of documentation and production processes.

“If you’re a company that has a lot of overlap between your different types of customers, and you have core content that just needs to vary a bit depending on the customer, then Paligo could be a useful tool for you,” she says. “That’s why Paligo has been particularly helpful for us.”

Wang also releases some of her tips and tricks for using Paligo on her YouTube channel. If you’re interested in seeing how she explains the features, feel free to check out her content!