Facebook launches first digital health tool

Facebook has been trying to enter the healthcare market since almost a year and half. 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.

Dr Freddy Abnousi has been the chief person to design the new service. He is the head of Facebook’s healthcare research. Reports allege, the anonymized hospital data would use a new technique known as “hashing” in order to match the data with individuals which exists in both data sets for research.

Furthermore, Facebook is working along with American Cancer Society, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to create a series of digital prompts which will encourage users to take standard battery of tests, important for people belonging to a certain age.

The company focuses on the top two causes of death in the U.S., these include heart disease and cancer, in addition to flu. Millions of Americans are falling victims to this every year.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women around the world and in many cases it is 100% preventable. By incorporating prevention reminders into platforms people are accessing every day, we’re giving people the tools they need to be proactive about their heart health,” commented Dr. Richard Kovacs, president of the American College of Cardiology.

The company further reported that users who wish to use the latest Preventive Health tool have to search for it on the company’s mobile app in order to find recommended checkups with respect to gender and age of the user. The tool further also highlighted the company’s partner organizations.

With the tool, users can also mark when the test is completed, in addition to setting reminders and can also schedule tests for the future. The tool can be used to find locations for flu shots. The company has however announced that it will not collect the results of any test.

Owning to this feature, the company said, “Health is particularly personal, so we took privacy and safety into account from the beginning. For example, Preventive Health allows you to set reminders for your future checkups and mark them as done, but it doesn’t provide us, or the health organizations we’re working with, access to your actual test results,” the company wrote in a statement. “Personal information about your activity in Preventive Health is not shared with third parties, such as health organizations or insurance companies, so it can’t be used for purposes like insurance eligibility.”