CommonSense Blog

GSK harnesses social media data to improve drug safety, healthcare

By Jenny Laurello | May 20, 2015

Eric_Smith_photo Guest post by: Eric Smith, Pharm.D., Director, Safety Evaluation and Risk Management, GlaxoSmithKline

Currently, post-marketing drug safety surveillance relies on data from spontaneous adverse event reports, published literature and observational databases, such as medical records and insurance claims. Unfortunately, these data sources have limitations, including significant under-reporting (some estimate that less than 10 percent of adverse events are reported), lack of geographically diverse data (most data come from the United States and Europe) and time lag (most commercial data sources lag 9-12 months). Safety stakeholders are always looking for additional information that can complement existing data sources, with social being a rich medium whose potential we have only just begun to utilize.

It took 38 years for radio, 13 years for television, 4 years for the internet, and only 1.5 years for Facebook to reach 50 million users. As you can tell, social media is an evolving communication channel that is shaping how people communicate across the world. A recent study found that 3-4 percent of adult internet users have posted on social media channels about their experience with healthcare service providers or treatments in the previous 12 months.

Can monitoring these posts — or, employing social listening in healthcare — contribute to post-marketing safety surveillance? Can it be done in an efficient manner? If so, what are the potential benefits and risks, and what governance is needed to ensure regulatory compliance and protect patient privacy?

I look forward answering these questions and engaging with attendees at the Social Media Data Workshop at Health Datapalooza on June 3, 2015, in Washington, D.C.! Please see here to register and below/here for more information.

Be sure to follow @GSK, @W2OGroup and #HCSMdata on Twitter to learn more! Full speaker and session line up is below.

Social Media Data Workshop at Health Datapalooza
June 3, 2015  * 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Washington, D.C. * Marriott Wardman Park

Featured topics and presenters include:

  • Project CRaWL: How Social Listening is Improving Healthcare Product Safety at GSK
    • Eric Smith, Pharm.D., Director, Safety Evaluation and Risk Management, GlaxoSmithKline
  • How the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is Using Social Data to Improve Public Health
    • Jay H. Dempsey, M.Ed., Senior Health Communication Specialist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • How IBM Watson Health is Transforming Healthcare Innovation
    • Kathleen McGroddy Goetz, Ph.D., Vice President, Partnerships & Solutions, IBM Watson Health
  • Learning from Physician Social Engagement: MDigitalLife’s Social Oncology Project
    • Greg Matthews, Managing Director of MDigitalLife, W2O Group
  • How Merck and Boston Children’s Hospital Characterized Sleep Issues Using Twitter
    • Jared Hawkins, PhD, Research Associate, Boston Children’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School
  • Innovations in Social Media Application at Mayo Clinic
    • Lee Aase, Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media
  • Use of Social Media to Identify Foodborne Illness
    • Jay Bhatt, D.O., Chief Health Officer, Illinois Hospital Association
  • How Social Sentiment Analytics Reflect Hospital Quality
    • Garry Choy, MD MBA, Assistant Chief Medical Information Officer for Advanced Technologies, Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, Massachusetts General Hospital; Co-founder, CredSimple
  • Measuring Patient-Perceived Quality of Care in U.S. Hospitals Using Twitter
    • Jared Hawkins, PhD, Research Associate, Boston Children’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School