Now used by over one billion people globally, social media websites and mobile phone apps enable and encourage users to create, share, and exchange information and experiences instantly. It is WEB-RADR’s mission to develop new ways of using these technologies and channels of communication for pharmacovigilance purposes.
WEB-RADR is working on delivering two key outcomes by September 2016:
- A mobile phone app for the reporting of suspected ADRs to EU regulators, an EU first
- New technical tools for data mining publicly available data shared on social media websites
The mobile phone app will help EU regulators monitor the safety of healthcare products, providing a platform for direct and instant ADR reporting for patients and healthcare professionals. It will also provide a means for regulators to communicate back to these stakeholders the latest pharmacovigilance information.
Improved text mining algorithms will enable more reliable mining of social media data, allowing National Competent Authorities (NCAs) to detect, extract, and analyse potential ADRs reported in unstructured free text by social media users.
Information collected through the mobile app or through mined data will be evaluated together with additional sources of information, such as clinical trial data, medical literature, and data from international medicines regulators, in order to identify new safety issues.
Through its work, WEB-RADR is also:
- Establishing the regulatory framework for social media mining for ADRs
- Increasing public access to National Competent Authorities (regulators)
- Engaging patients in the awareness and reporting of safety concerns
- Improving methods of mining social media for pharmacovigilance
- Delivering a platform for monitoring effects of risk minimisation.
Underpinned by extensive academic research and validation, WEB-RADR’s approach will address the various needs and concerns of healthcare stakeholders while further modernising pharmacovigilance practices.