ISPOR Congress update. Disaster averted – lots learned and achieved

STEVEN BREWER – 14 November 2017

Last week I travelled to Glasgow, to speak at the ISPOR 20th Annual European Congress.

ISPOR – or The International Society for Pharmacoenomics and Outcomes – is the leading global scientific and educational organisation for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) and its use in decision making to improve health. The congress centred on the theme of The Evolution of Value in Health Care.

It was a fascinating couple of days, although it nearly went horribly wrong before I even got there. All I had to remember was to get our two posters to the exhibition safely. I got a phone call as I left the train and – you guessed it – realised the posters were still sitting in the luggage rack. Cue me charging back along the platform and rescuing the posters that as you can see did make it to the congress!

Our posters nearly didn’t make it! I’m relieved they did as I stood here discussing what we do with a great many interested (and interesting) people.

Being new to the event, I didn’t really know what to expect and I spent the first day just immersing myself in the whole experience.

By the end of the day I had sore feet but a much clearer understanding of what agencies and pharmaceutical companies are looking for, and how we can help.

Text mining represents a HUGE opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry. There is a tangible need to access what patients are really saying and feeling about the side effects of the drugs they’re required to take.

This is the beauty of Text Mining Solutions, and where we come in. We extract words and phrases to uncover key findings buried deep within swathes of documents – or in this case, patient forums.

Usually, companies have to access patient surveys via doctors to try and unlock key findings. This can be extremely labourious – not to mention light on content when it comes to patients opening up about how they’re really feeling or how they’re coping with unpalatable side effects. However, there are thousands of blog posts and chat forums out there where patients are talking to each other all the time.

Once we have text mined these social media feeds, we present our findings to clients using our customised web interface like this one.

It’s a beautifully simple yet powerful tool.

And our method of extracting key information takes on a whole new level of significance when it comes to learning about rare diseases. Often, pharmaceutical companies draw a blank via doctors’ surveys, as there is simply nobody to ask.

Once again, social media holds the key to unlocking patient outcomes, even with a rare disease.

The congress was a real success. I certainly learned a lot from it and it was great to meet so many of you. Whether you made it or not, if you have a question about how Text Mining Solutions could help your business, or if you’d like to play around with our free demo, then we’d be delighted to hear from you so please get in touch.