KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 – Facebook has rolled out a new feature called Preventive Health to recommend health screenings to users based on their age and sex.
“We are looking at the number-one and number-two killers in America, which are heart disease and cancer, and we’re also looking at seasonal illness, particularly flu in this case,” said Dr Freddy Abnousi, a cardiologist and head of health care research at Facebook, according to CNN.
“The majority problem that we’re trying to solve is making sure that people have this information in their hand in a way that’s consumer friendly.”
The tool, which focuses particularly on cardiovascular health, cancer screening and seasonal flu, is only available in the US.
The feature gives recommendations like when to get a cholesterol test or where to get a flu shot; and can be found by either searching for it on Facebook or clicking on a promotion that might appear in newsfeeds.
Users are provided with personalised recommendations, which is only visible to the users.
Users are also allowed to learn more information, mark the recommendations as completed, or set check-up reminders to schedule future tests.
The tool also includes a way to find where flu shots are being offered, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and urgent care clinics.
“Any tests that you have done as a result of engaging with this information are completely outside of us. We don’t engage in that or hear about it ever from the health care system,” Abnousi said.
“Secondly, your use of the Preventive Health tool on Facebook is not visible to any other Facebook users.
“We’re going to spend the next six to 12 months really trying to understand whether people are engaging with this tool and whether it’s helpful or not,” he added.
“Once we figure that out is when we’re going to start thinking about expansion.”