Facebook wants to make you healthier: a feature that helps you track your blood pressure, flu & cancer and cancer research is the newest step of the social media giant in digital health
- Facebook launched the Preventive Health feature on Monday
- Based on the age and gender of the user, the program recommends that they try different tools, such as colon cancer screening or cholesterol test
- The tool also tells users where pharmacies are nearby for getting flu shots
- With Preventive Health, people can set reminders for tests and check-ups or record when they have one
Facebook has launched a new tool on Monday that is said to help you become healthier by following your heart, cancer and flu risks.
The function, called Preventive Health, will make recommendations based on your age and gender, such as when you need a cholesterol test or where you can get a flu shot.
The tool is currently only available in the US and can be accessed by searching for it on Facebook or by clicking on an advertisement.
As a clinician, I am well aware that health care is different, and that health information is different, and that we need to treat it differently, and that's what we have & # 39 ;, cardiologist. Freddy Abnousi, the head of Facebook & # 39; s health care research department, told reporters on Sunday.
& # 39; The goal here is just to save lives. & # 39;
Facebook launched the Preventive Health feature on Monday where users enter their age and gender and receive recommendations for tests and screenings
To build preventive health, Facebook worked with the American Cancer Society, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The company says the partnership with these agencies has helped ensure that clinical recommendations were accurate and easily translatable for users.
As soon as users have access to the feature, they are asked to enter their weight and age.
This brings them to a list of suggestions for preventive care, such as cholesterol tests, blood pressure tests, colorectal cancer screenings and – for women – mammograms and smears.
Users can then set reminders for tests and check-ups or record when they have received one.
For flu shots, Preventive Health loads area maps from community clinics or pharmacies where users can be immunized.
Dr. Abnousi told CNN that he often thinks of his father, who died of blood pressure issues, when he thinks of the new device.
Ideally, the Preventive Health function should be Dr. Abnousi & # 39; s father helped by reminding him to get blood pressure tests.
& # 39; I hope that if this were there then he would pull it up on his phone and although he is too proud to talk to me about it … he could understand it himself and realize that it is important enough for him to participate, & # 39; said Dr. Abnousi against CNN.
With Preventive Health, people can set reminders for tests and tell users where pharmacies are nearby for getting flu shots
Facebook has had to deal with a backlash around privacy and the sharing of its user data and resolves these concerns.
The company said it will not share data with third parties and that advertisers should not display targeted ads based on information entered in Preventive Health.
Facebook will launch a Spanish-language version of the tool in a few weeks. The company says it can bring Preventive health in other countries and treat more healthcare topics when users are involved.
& # 39; We're going to really spend the next six to twelve months trying to understand whether people are working with this tool and whether it is useful or not, & # 39; said Dr. Abnousi against CNN.
& # 39; Once we find out, we'll start thinking about expansion. & # 39;
The news about the tool comes just four months after Facebook has rolled out a new feature in the US that tells users where to donate blood in the neighborhood or if a blood donation is needed.
The social media platform has also promoted organ donations by asking users to share whether they are registered donors.
Facebook is far from being the only technology giant to enter the healthcare market with Apple's smartwatches to monitor heartbeat and cardiovascular irregularities and Amazon is buying online pharmacy PillPack.
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