Facebook launches first digital health tool

Henrietta Brewer
October 31, 2019

Latest reports suggests, Facebook's launch of a tool known as "Preventive Health" focuses on regular checkups among users, in addition to helping them connect to service providers.

Sharing the tool with friends or family to encourage them to try it will not share people's activities within the tool.

Some of the common reasons why people didn't get preventive care include a lack of health insurance, not having a usual doctor or long wait times at clinics, according to the study.

'My hope is that if this was around then, he would pull it up on his phone and though he's too proud to talk to me about.he would be able to understand it on his own and realize that it's important enough for him to engage in it, ' Dr Abnousi told CNN.

To help you keep track of your checkups, we collect information you provide, such as when you set reminders or mark a screening as done. The company said educational materials will be provided by a handful of health organizations partnering with Facebook, including the American College of Cardiology, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Facebook says the tests the tool recommends are free of charge with insurance coverage, but it can also point you to low-priced options if you need them.

When you are provided with your personalized recommendations, which only you can see, you then have the option to learn more information; mark the recommendations as completed, if you already have done some of them; or set checkup reminders to schedule future tests.

Finally, since Facebook's history is marred by numerous privacy issues, the company is trying to preempt concerns by stressing that Preventive Health doesn't provide the company access to your test results. In June, the company announced it was expanding a tool that lets users sign up to be a blood donor to the US.

Facebook also won't use data from Preventative Health to target you with ads, though it's worth bearing in mind that visiting other websites or clicking links to health organizations' pages could affect the ads you see. "Personal information about your activity in Preventive Health is not shared with third parties, such as health organisations or insurance companies, so it can't be used for purposes like insurance eligibility", Abnousi said.

"We all know that screening rates for cancer are not as high as they could be", Wender said.


Dr. Freddy Abnousi, Facebook's head of health care research, said in an interview that the tool is meant to amplify the message of health experts who are encouraging people to get preventive care.

The new Preventive Health tool follows other Facebook public health initiatives launched recently.

News of the tool comes just four months after Facebook rolled out a new feature in the United States that tell users where to donate blood near them or if a blood donation is in need.

We give Facebook information on our daily activities, our likes and dislikes, the places we visit and on the back of an attempt to carve a footing into our finances, the company has also revealed a move into our healthcare.

While most of the measure recommended by the organizations working with Facebook are free with insurance coverage, the tool offers those without coverage the ability to find Federally Qualified Health Centers near them.


'Once we figure that out is when we're going to start thinking about expansion'.

Other reports by iNewsToday

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