Facebook is now entering the digital health market as they are partnering with various health organizations to bring resources within the social media app itself. In selected countries, you will now be able to sign up and register as a blood donor and Facebook will inform you if there’s a need near you. Another thing that they’re bringing users in the U.S. is a Preventive Health tool so you can connect to health resources and even schedule your appointments when needed.
While there are a lot of people willing to donate blood, it can be hard sometimes to know where a blood shortage is or where they can even donate. This new feature, available in the US, Brazil, Bangladesh, and Pakistan will let Facebook users sign up as a blood donor. This way, people will get a notification when there’s a need for blood donations from nearby blood banks. Facebook says that more than 50 million people have already signed up and hopefully, they’ll expand this to other countries as well.
The Preventive Health tool was created because there are tens of millions of people in the U.S. that are “missing out on recommended preventive care” and Facebook is hoping that this can help with early detection and prevention. For the initial rollout, they are focusing on two leading causes of death in the country – heart diseases and cancer. They are also focusing on seasonal illnesses like flu. They are working together with the American Cancer Society, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Basically what happens is you search for the Preventive Health tool within the Facebook app and then it will recommend tests that you may need to take based on your age and sex. It can be cholesterol tests, mammograms, etc. And if it’s flu season, you’ll also get reminders to take your flu shots. You will be able to set reminders for when you need to take the tests, mark them when they’re completed, and also find affordable places where you can get tests and receive care.
Of course, you’ll have a lot of resources provided by partner organizations if you want to know more about the tests and the diseases that you can avoid through early detection and preventive care. There’s also a note from Facebook saying that while they will give you reminders to the tests, they and their partner organizations will not have access to your results and the private information.