The FDA is looking to dig into social media in search of clues about public perceptions of FDA efforts and chatter that may signal an uptick in adverse events or an impending outbreak.
The FDA is looking for robust tools that provide constant social media monitoring and analytics on key words, trends, sentiment analysis, sources and more. The agency is hoping to monitor the effectiveness of its own communications and keep an eye out for trending adverse events, according to a notice published on the Federal Business Opportunity website.
"The rise of social media on the Internet, including especially user-generated content such as blogs, forums, message boards, wikis and podcasts, has created new opportunities to interface with the public with respect to emerging hazard situations involving FDA-regulated products," the FDA said in its call for contractors. "FDA is in need of both historical and ‘real-time’ monitoring and analyses of a representative sample of social media web sites."
The agency outlined 3 primary areas of focus for its online surveillance:
- Analyses of social media that provide baselines on consumer sentiment prior to FDA communication and that depict changes in social media buzz following FDA communications;
- In-house capability for social media monitoring; and
- Surveillance through social media listening for early detection of adverse events and food-borne illness.
Those efforts will ideally include "buzz reports," a social media dashboard and quarterly surveillance reports for each class of products the FDA covers. The agency additionally wants automatically updated reports based on ongoing social media analysis, visual graphics, customizable reports and other analytics. The chosen contractor must also be willing to mine the data and produce regular PowerPoint presentations on trends in social media.
Companies have until March 7 at 3 p.m. EST to submit their proposals.