Drug testing is done by clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy. Side effects during such trials and post-approval reporting systems are critical. A major challenge during clinical trials is persuading patients to diligently report any adverse events when they're on a new medication.
Researchers at Carlos III Universidad de Madrid (UC3M) are now using social media as a self-reporting tool that can help spot previously unnoticed drug side effects.
Based on MeaningCloud, a product of Daedalus (Madrid, Spain), users drop comments in social media venues using a tool. It reads through the comments from the natural text and distils some basic pieces of information, which is then fed into the TrendMiner software package.