Medical Writing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Can readers spot the AI impostor in healthcare writing?

Volume 32, Issue 3 - Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Can readers spot the AI impostor in healthcare writing?


The use of artificial intelligence (AI) writing assistants in the healthcare industry is becoming increasingly prevalent. These tools can help medical writers to generate content more quickly and efficiently, but they also raise concerns about the accuracy and completeness of the information that is produced. This study investigated whether readers can distinguish between health-related texts written by humans and those generated by AI writing assistants. A survey of 164 respondents found that slightly more than half could correctly identify the source of the healthcare text. Differences between healthcare professionals and non-healthcare professionals were not statistically significant. Medical writers were better at recognising that a text had been written by an AI model than were non-medical writers (P<.05).

These findings suggest that it is important for organisations to establish clear guidelines regarding the use of AI writing assistants in healthcare. The authors of health-related content should be required to identify whether their work has been completed by a human or an AI writer, and organisations should develop processes for evaluating the accuracy and completeness of AI-generated content.

This study has several limitations, including the small sample size. However, the findings provide valuable insights into the need for organisations to develop clear guidelines for their use.

Medical Writing. 2023;32(3):38–40.

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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
From the Editor
President's Message
Regulatory initiatives for artificial intelligence applications: Regulatory writing implications
Digital tools for the clinical evaluation of medical devices: A guide to empower regulatory writers
AI language models are transforming the medical writing space – like it or not!
Narratives for a clinical study report: The evolution of automation and artificial intelligence
Unlocking new efficiencies: How structured content authoring is streamlining the production of clinical documents for the pharmaceutical industry
Can readers spot the AI impostor in healthcare writing?
Essential principles towards improving clinical risk assessment tools: A conversation with Uri Kartoun, PhD
AI-based plagiarism detectors: Plagiarism fighters or makers?
A survey on current use of software tools for systematic literature reviews
Writing reports of modelling and simulation analysis: Our experience in the field of pharmacometrics
AI for medical writers: Friend or foe?
Introducing EMWA’s new AI Working Group
Diversity in clinical trials: It takes a village
News from the EMA
Digital Communication
Medical Communications and Writing for Patients
Good Writing Practice
Regulatory Public Disclosure
Regulatory Matters
Getting Your Foot in the Door
The Crofter: Sustainable Communications


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Editoral Board


Raquel Billiones


Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Deputy Managing Editor

Alicia Brooks Waltman

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Nicole Bezuidenhout

Claire Chang

Barbara Grossman

Sarah Milner

John Plant

Sampoorna Rappaz

Amy Whereat

Section Editors

Daniela Kamir


Jennifer Bell


Nicole Bezuidenhout 

Digital Communication

Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News 

Ana Sofia Correia 

Gained in Translation

Ivana Turek

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Wendy Kingdom / Amy Whereat

Good Writing Practice

Alison McIntosh 

In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

Maddy Dyer


Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Payal Bhatia

Medical Devices

Evguenia Alechine

My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Adriana Rocha


Tiziana von Bruchhausen


Clare ChangZuo Yen Lee 

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Louisa Ludwig-Begall / Sarah Kabani

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

Editors Emeritus

Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Layout Designer

Chris Monk