Fb needs to remind you to see a health care provider. It’s engaged on a set of “Preventative Well being” options designed to assist folks preserve monitor of their private upkeep. Is it simply me or does this firm seem to be a nasty alternative for that function?

Fb today announced it’s working with main well being organizations to combine well being reminders into the platform. The Preventative Well being instrument will inform customers what sorts of check-ups are advisable for somebody of their age and intercourse, in addition to the optimum time for a flu shot. You’ll be able to then set your self a reminder, utilizing the instrument, to get these check-ups, which might embrace ldl cholesterol checks and mammograms.

This isn’t an entirely unhealthy concept — there’s nothing mistaken with folks preserving on prime of their medical well being. And Fb is fast to level out that, whereas it could supply the reminder, the precise take a look at outcomes or affected person data would by no means be shared with it. In order that considerably eliminates the priority that Fb would have entry to well being information.

And it’s not as if Fb’s the one firm on the market lobbying to have extra entry to my bodily stats. Apple’s received its well being apps, Amazon’s launched HIPAA-compliant medical skills for Alexa, and most lately Google’s apparently making an attempt to purchase Fitbit.

However I can’t shake the sensation that, if I have been to really use this to schedule, for instance, a blood strain take a look at, I might begin seeing advertisements for capsules to cut back hypertension or meditative apps assured to decrease identical. Fb’s managed to wriggle into my enterprise sufficient that I get advertisements for merchandise I’ve actually simply spoken about to buddies in particular person and have by no means even appeared up (sure, this bothers the heck out of me — and no, I’m not going to let it go). I’m unsure I would like Fb to know much more about me than it already does.

There have been rumors about Fb engaged on health-based options for years now. It apparently put the brakes on a challenge that concerned anonymized well being information from US hospitals within the quick aftermath of Cambridge Analytica, guessing (precisely) that we’d all be actually suspicious of Fb having any extra of our deeply private information. And it’s not as if Fb isn’t already getting a dripfeed of that elsewhere — simply final month, interval tracker apps have been caught sharing well being information with the positioning.

That stated, the characteristic that sounds probably the most useful is one which exhibits customers Federally Qualified Health Centers of their space the place they will obtain their preventative well being care no matter their potential to pay. As Fb precisely identified in its assertion, not everybody has insurance coverage (underneath which these screenings are often free). Assuming that truly works, it may serve a real want amongst those that would possibly in any other case not think about getting their preventative exams.


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