McIntire Information Technology Professor Ahmed Abbasi is co-principal investigator on a $130,000 grant from the National Science Foundation pertaining to social media analytics.

Abbasi and his collaborators in the computer science department and medical school at West Virginia University will explore how online sentiments in web sites, web forums, blogs, micro-blogs, and other social media can be used as an early-warning mechanism for identifying adverse drug reactions. In recent years, social media analytics has been used to inform product design, predict the stock market, and gauge public sentiment. This project explores the relation between social media and product safety, in the context of pharmaceutical drugs. Preliminary results suggest that indicators based on online word-of-mouth can be used to identify adverse drug reactions significantly earlier than existing reporting methods (in some cases, years in advance).

Part of the grant will be used to fund research analyst positions for students in the McIntire School’s Business Analytics Track. These students will leverage skills learned through courses offered in the track towards research and application of state-of-the-art text, predictive, and social media analytics methodologies.

The grant is funded through the National Science Foundation’s Smart Health and Wellbeing program, which focuses on how technology can be used to transform health care in a proactive manner.

-Source: UVa McIntire School of Commerce News