Facebook is diversifying rapidly. The company has revealed a new healthcare initiative in which it will tie up with healthcare providers to help support users' health.
The company has launched a new preventive health tool in the US that will provide users timely health reminders to maintain their health. It will also provide recommendations on the kind of health tests that are advisable for their age and gender.
"Tens of millions of people in the US are missing out on recommended preventive care, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Preventive measures have the potential to detect disease early when it's most treatable and, in some cases, prevent it from developing. Yet factors such as awareness, access, and cost create barriers to testing for many people.
To help, we're working with US health organisations to offer a new Preventive Health tool that connects people to health resources and check-up reminders," Freddy Abnousi, MD, Healthcare Research, stated in the company's press release on the subject.
Facebook will be working with the American Cancer Society, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to provide healthcare-related reminders.
Given Facebook's vast reach, such reminders may have a positive effect. Facebook will not ask to access your medical records or share your test results.
However, a bigger concern is that if Facebook reminds you to get a cholesterol test done, will it also use the data to advertise pills for the same? The company has also provided clarity on the use of this data.
"We don't show ads based on the information you provide in Preventive Health — that includes things like setting a reminder for a test, marking it as done or searching for a healthcare location. As always, other actions that you take on Facebook could inform the ads you see, for example, liking the Facebook page of a health organization or visiting an external website linked to Preventive Health," the company stated further.
The company is also providing a list of Federally Qualified Health Centres in all areas, which will also serve people without insurance.