Researchers from the Universities of Virginia and West Virginia are studying whether or not social media can be used to identify side effects of drugs more quickly—which can potentially save lives and money.
The team will look over posts on Twitter, online message boards, as well as blogs, to find signs of adverse drug reactions.
Once the drugs have been sold, regulators rely on consumers to report their reactions. This is primarily done by contacting their respective doctors or, possibly, other channels like social media.
According to researchers, the use of social media in drug effect surveillance can make diagnosis much faster. As is, many companies are already using the internet to receive consumer feedback.