Facebook Launches Preventive Health Tool

Tool created in partnership with American Cancer Society, American College of Cardiology, AHA, CDC

Woman using laptop computer late at night

TUESDAY, Oct. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new tool designed to help guide preventive care for heart disease, cancer, and seasonal flu was launched in the United States Monday by Facebook.

The Preventive Health tool -- which is accessed by either searching for it on Facebook or clicking on a promotion that pops up -- was created in partnership with the American Cancer Society, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CNN reported.

The tool makes recommendations based on age and sex. After receiving personalized recommendations, a user can choose to get more information, mark recommendations as completed, or set reminders to get suggested tests. Most of the preventive measures are covered by insurance, but the feature also provides a map of federally qualified health care centers in underserved areas across the United States that provide services regardless of patients' ability to pay, CNN reported. In terms of the flu, the tool offers a way to find where flu shots are being offered, such as pharmacies, grocery stores, and urgent care clinics.

Personal information is not shared with third parties, such as health organizations or insurance companies, Freddy Abnousi, M.D., M.B.A., head of health care research at Facebook, told CNN. Eventually, the Preventive Health tool could be expanded to other countries and include more resources on preventive care outside of heart health, cancer, and seasonal flu. "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," Abnousi said. "Once we figure that out is when we're going to start thinking about expansion."

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