FDA Panel to Discuss Ways to Harness Social Media to Help Evaluate Medical Devices

Posted September 21, 2018

Noting that platforms such as social media are "potentially rich sources of patient-generated health data," an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA)  will hold a public meeting on Nov. 15 to discuss how it might leverage these data to inform the regulatory evaluation of medical devices and healthcare technology.

"The number of people turning to the Internet to find and share health information continues to grow," the agency wrote in a news release. "Social media aids in the creation of virtual patient communities where patients and health care consumers can share their health experiences and seek information from one another."

The FDA said that in some case, the evidence generated by patient-driven platforms, such as social media, digital health technology, and patient registry data, may have implications in protecting public health and promoting innovation.

In addition to collecting and evaluating real-world health data provided by patients and consumers, during the meeting—which the FDA is describing as "Connected & Empowered Patients: ePlatforms Potentially Expanding the Definition of Scientific Evidence"—the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee intends to discuss how online and mobile platforms may be used more effectively to engage with patients.

Additional information on the meeting can be found in the Federal Register notice.