Facebook Will Remind You to Go for Checkups, Get Your Shots

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Some background: This isn't Facebook's first foray into health: it has a feature that helps people sign up as blood donors which has been used by more than 50 million people so far, it said.

Facebook said it is working with United States health organisations in order to offer a new Preventive Health tool that 'connects people to health resources and checkup reminders.' Facebook's primary focus will remain on heart disease and cancer, which, according to CDC, are two leading causes of death in the US.

"Most of the preventive measures recommended by the health organizations we're working with, such as blood pressure tests, are free of charge with insurance coverage, but we know many people do not have insurance", the company wrote in a blog post. "New tools like this will empower users with instant access to information and resources they need to become a flu fighter in their own communities".

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.

Working with the American Cancer Society; the American College of Cardiology; the American Heart Association; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Facebook is developing a series of digital prompts that will encourage users to get a standard battery of tests that's important to ensure health for populations of a certain age.

"We know that awareness and access are indicative of why people don't engage in preventive health in the U.S.", he said.

Some of the common reasons why people didn't get preventive care include a lack of health insurance, not having a usual doctor or long wait times at clinics, according to the study.

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The company has a tattered reputation when it comes to user privacy and security, due to a variety of security incidents and scandals, and so Facebook is keen to emphasize that the data, given its extreme sensitivity, will not be misused. The company has however announced that it will not collect the results of any test.

The Preventive Health tool, now available only in the United States, can be accessed by either searching for it on Facebook or clicking on a promotion that might appear in newsfeeds.

"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", Facebook said.

"Secondly, your use of the Preventive Health tool on Facebook is not visible to any other Facebook users".

For some cancer types - such as cervical, bowl, lung and breast - clinical trials have shown that screening to detect cancer early can reduce the risk of dying from that cancer. However, there are factors such as awareness, access, and cost, that will stop many people from getting tests done.

In September, a new feature rolled out on Facebook and Instagram to combat the spread of anti-vaccine misinformation. Facebook plans to expand the range of illnesses, and countries, covered.

"Well being is especially private, so we took privateness and security into consideration from the start".

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