The Internet is a reliable tool for healthcare providers to use to collect self-reported patient information, according to a recent study.
The soundness of healthcare research is critical to all related decisions, to the well-being of patients, and to the approval of related medical care. Thus, the entire community pays careful heed to the accuracy of participants' information, data collection, side effects, and results.
In news that could reshape enterprises' research across vertical markets, a new pilot study from Quintiles's Digital Patient Unit (PDU) validates the reliability of patient-reported outcomes that it collected from people recruited via the Internet.
Quintiles, which helps biopharmaceutical and health sciences organizations "navigate the increasingly complex landscape with more predictability to enable better outcomes," said the pilot demonstrated companies can recruit, screen, and directly enroll people from online communities -- a move that can save both money and time.
A paper was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research, and showed the importance of broader adoption of patient-reported outcomes, said Rich Gliklich, MD, president of Quintiles, in a statement:
Utilizing direct-to-patient techniques for real-world data collection not only work in pilot, but we are also leveraging in practice. Given the widespread demand for rapid data collection, direct-to-patient studies will become an increasingly important component of real world evidence development for understanding appropriate cohorts from treatment patterns to safety information.
Others in the healthcare industry are testing the social media and Internet waters for timelier direct patient information as well. And like their counterparts in retail, manufacturing, and yes, politics, they're finding some stimulating results. Take Ahmed Abbasi and his team at the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and four partners at West Virginia University who received a $130,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to research the analysis of social media to find adverse drug reactions online.
University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce
The University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce is part of a team using big-data, social media, and the Internet to figure out patients' side effects from new medications, a process expected to shave months off the existing methodology.
The colleagues will use big-data by collecting tweets, Facebook posts, online discussion forums, and blogs to track peoples' comments about any adverse medication reactions they've suffered. Normally, pharmaceutical companies gather data from doctors' offices and hospitals as patients report to their medical facilities; social media is expected to be a faster, more natural communicative tool.
Having the ability to learn about patients' use of medications in their real lives is invaluable to pharmaceutical companies, wrote Sally Bull, research and operations manager at Complete True Life, a test validation organization, on eyeforpharma.com:
We are witnessing the development of real-world studies that bring the patient's voice to the decision making table with force and clarity. How patients respond and react to the development of social networking, information sharing and advances in technology over the next 5–10 years remains to be seen but there is no doubt that it will force a significant step change in how research is leveraged by those looking for true patient insight.
If the Internet and social media have the potential to so dramatically alter the landscape of the healthcare industry, a market constrained by regulatory, security, and patient safety issues, how could these forces affect your organization?
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— Alison Diana , ThinkerNet Editor, Internet Evolution