Social Media Should be used as a Diverse and Cost Effective Data Source of Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO)

A recent paper published in Value in Health comments on how social platforms could accelerate PRO development

Philadelphia, PA, March 6, 2015

Written by a team of nonprofit, private industry and government officials and published in Value in Health, the paper compares various approaches to collecting and analyzing patient reported outcomes (PROs) and outlines a vision of how social platforms should be included as sources of data collection.

More specifically the authors of the paper aim to answer questions about how different patient populations are represented on social media, how they should be targeted, and which channels of social media are most appropriate for PRO.

As more patients share their health experiences online, the internet has become a vast database for developing and validating new PROs because researchers can more easily target and engage patient populations online than with traditional methods such as face-to-face or telephone interviews.

The authors address an issue that has, until now, received little attention in the scientific literature: how to collect data that supports content validity in a way that is acceptable for regulatory use in pharmaceutical labeling.


Article details
“Can We Use Social Media to Support Content Validity of Patient Reported PRO Instruments in Medical Product Development?” (doi:10.1016/j.jval.2014.10.001) Value in Health, published by Elsevier.

Author details
Ari Gnanaskathy, Head of Patient Reported Outcomes at RTI Health Solutions; Elektra J. Papadopoulos, MD, MPH; Study Endpoints and Labeling Development (SEALD); Study Endpoints team in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Margaret Rothman, PhD, CEO, Rothman Associates Consulting; and Paul Wicks, PhD, Vice President of Innovation at PatientsLikeMe.

Full text of this open access article is available at:

Journalists wishing to interview the authors can contact: Terry Materese, Executive Publisher Elsevier: | at +1 215 239 3196.

About Value in Health
Value in Health, publishes original research articles in the areas of pharmacoeconomics (health economics), outcomes research (clinical, economic, and patient-reported outcomes research), and conceptual and health policy articles that are rigorous, methodologically or theoretically solid, ethically sound and provide valuable information for health care decision-makers as well as the research community. As the official journal of ISPOR, Value in Health provides a forum for researchers, as well as health care decision-makers to translate outcomes research into health care decisions. Value in Health can be accessed at the journal’s website:

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

Media Contact
Terry Materese
+1 215 239 3196