A new whitepaper published in The Evidence Forum highlights a typically overlooked source of real world data (RWD)—social media. Posts by patients in online forums can provide important information into a drug’s efficacy, the burden of the disease, and perspectives from family members and caregivers. Several techniques can drive decision-making and allow researchers to draw conclusions, including natural language processing and machine learning. This approach is valuable both for rare disease and for understanding the impact of COVID-19, among countless other applications.
“There are thousands of similar communities used by both patients and caregivers spanning a broad range of indications, making health-related social media a rich source of real-world evidence. Posts on these sites contain a vast amount of information ranging from a treatment or drug a patient has received and how long they have received it, information on symptoms and side effects, and subsequent impacts and questions to other community users.” Read more here.
(Source: Alison Booth, The Evidence Forum, Fall 2020)