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January 31, 2012

BehindTheMedspeak: Treato — "Posts about drugs, side effects, conditions and symptoms"

Tell you what: Any Big Pharma firm that doesn't have at least one employee whose sole job is reading posts on treato.com isn't one whose stock I'd want to own.

This is Twitter/the DEW Line (those of a certain age will know what that is without Wikipedia)/the cluetrain for medications.

Here's what Dina ElBoghdady had to say about the site in Sunday's Washington Post: 

Five months ago, [Gideon Mantel]... launched Treato, a Web site that scans social media sites all over the Web for patient comments on medications. The company analyzes the comments to identify side effects, compare competing medications and learn about off-label uses of the drugs. It aggregates the information into charts and graphs.

For example, type "Lipitor" into the site and a bar chart pops up ranking the top issues posted about this cholesterol medication. Click on muscle pain, which tops the list, and the site directs you to snippets of the comments or the posts in their entirety from the originating site. Click on "compare drugs" and up comes a similar list of side effects reported on other medications, even fish oil.

The idea came about when Mantel's daughter was preparing to have knee surgery. Anxious to learn more about the procedure, he went online. The medical discussions were too technical, he said. More insightful were comments made by patients and their loved ones.

The stuff that makes its way onto the front page of the New York Times begins burbling up on treato.

Fair warning: There goes the day.

January 31, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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