Facebook moves into the digital health market with screening tools, checkup reminders

Originally posted in: ZDNet

Writer: Charlie Osborne

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. 

On Monday, the social media giant announced the launch of a new Preventive Health tool in the United States, designed to keep tabs on checkup reminders, schedules, screenings, and offer health resources. 

According to Freddy Abnousi, MD, Head of Healthcare Research at Facebook, Preventive Health can be used “to find affordable places to receive care, set reminders to schedule tests, mark when tests are completed, and more.”

“Preventive measures have the potential to detect disease early when it’s most treatable and, in some cases, prevent it from developing,” Abnousi said. “Yet factors such as awareness, access, and cost create barriers to testing for many people.”

Initially, the tool will focus on heart disease, cancer, and the flu. Resources for users, embedded within the tool, are provided by the American Cancer Society, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Users can search for what checkups it is recommended they have — based on their age and sex — as well as receive reminders and pointers towards potential, local centers for flu shots. 

If you’re willing to let the social network know what tests you’ve had and which are scheduled, you can use the tool as a form of calendar. Those without health insurance may also be able to use Preventive Health to find Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). 

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