Completed Research Paper
The detection and management of Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) is gaining paramount importance in healthcare organizations and regulatory agencies. Such importance originates from the high contribution of ADRs towards medical problems and patient outcomes and their direct linkages with drug discovery and management. Especially in resource bounded situations, the acquisition of ADR-related information and the management of ADR-specific consequences continued to be challenged by the inefficiency of spontaneous reporting systems, the difficulty of promoting self-reporting by patients and the orchestration of socially-generated information through the use of social media networks. To investigate the context of ADR management information in Al Ahsaa area of Saudi Arabia, our study examined the way such information is being acquired and the applications and systems used for data processing and representation in some public hospitals of the city. Taken under the umbrella of the “Pharmacoinformatics” discipline, our examination revealed low rates and scope of the Pharmacoinformatics applications being used for detecting, signaling and integrating of ADR-related information in the systems dedicated for the management of pharmacy processes or corporate hospital information systems. In addition to their limited focus on “drug stock control” little has been done to provide ADR-oriented decision support functionalities and facilitate crowd souring information through the use of coupled information processing paradigms such as software agents and social media networks. The basic aim of this paper is to advocate the adoption of agent paradigms to represent socially-generated ADR information to promote self-reporting of ADR-related information by patients and other stakeholders (i.e., healthcare professionals in hospitals, Pharmacovigilance Centers (and their affiliated drug information centers) and pharmaceutical companies). The paper emphasizes on the use of user-generated ADR-related content on “guided” forums or social networks and raised some issues to be taken into account for the operationalization of co-evolutionary concepts in Pharmacoinformatics.
Improving self reporting of ADRs using socially-coupled Pharmacoinformatics in Al Ahsaa Area