Webinar: Patient Insights from Social Media - Mathias Leddin

Mathias Leddin described Roche’s use of NLP to gain valuable patient insights from social media. Regulatory authorities worldwide are requiring pharmaceutical companies to incorporate patients and patient information into the drug development process. Traditionally, this information was gathered by talking to patients and patient organizations and reading patient outcome reports; but today it is clear that patients themselves, their families, and their healthcare providers are using social media to discuss the patient’s symptoms, disease impacts, treatments, etc.  This poses an immediate challenge for NLP, as patients and healthcare providers often use quite different language and terminology to describe symptoms and impacts.

Social media is a useful source of a key piece of patient information, which is “which symptoms are experienced, which have the highest burden, and which cause the biggest impact on daily life?” Knowing what matters most to the patient guides which symptoms to treat and where to locate clinical trials. And these insights can be used to modify research strategies, address unmet medical needs of a disease, and create competitive differentiation. They can also be used to satisfy regulatory authorities, which now require pharma companies to justify that clinical trial endpoint strategies are relevant to patients.

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