Facebook is working with health organizations in the United States to offer a Preventive Health tool that connects people to health resources and checkup reminders.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of Americans miss out on preventive care that’s recommended by health organizations. This way, they risk being able to detect disease early enough when it’s treatable, or even to prevent it from developing in the first place. However, there are factors such as awareness, access, and cost, that will stop many people from getting tests done.
Now, in collaboration with health organizations, Facebook is launching a new Preventive Health tool on its flagship app to help people find affordable places to receive care, set reminders to schedule their tests, mark when tests are completed, and much more.
The feature’s “initial focus” is on the top two leading causes of death in the United States, currently: heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, it’s also focusing on the flu, an illness that affects many millions every year. The American Cancer Society, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recognized for their education and expertise in these areas, provide all the resources for the tool to work properly.
The Preventive Health tool, only available in the US at the moment, allow people in the country to find out which checkups, such as cholesterol tests or mammograms, are recommended by health organizations based on their age and sex. They can then find out more about each checkup and find affordable places to receive care. It also allows them to mark tests as completed, and set reminders to schedule future ones. Finally, it also helps them tell others about the tool to increase awareness.
Most recommended preventive measures are free of charge with insurance, but many people don’t have insurance. Therefore, Preventive Health allows people to also find Federally Qualified Health Centers near them.
The centers provide care to everyone, whether they can pay or not. Facebook explains that as health issues are private, it will never use the information provided within Preventive Health by users to show them ads. However, the feature’s announcement does mention that “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 from Preventive Health.”