Fb desires to remind you to see a health care provider. It’s engaged on a collection of “Preventative Well being” options designed to assist individuals hold observe of their private upkeep. Is it simply me or does this firm seem to be a foul selection 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 beneficial 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 may embody ldl cholesterol checks and mammograms.

This isn’t an entirely unhealthy thought — there’s nothing fallacious with individuals conserving on prime of their medical well being. And Fb is fast to level out that, whereas it could provide 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 acquired its well being apps, Amazon’s launched HIPAA-compliant medical skills for Alexa, and most not too long ago Google’s apparently making an attempt to purchase Fitbit.

However I can’t shake the sensation that, if I have been to truly use this to schedule, for instance, a blood stress take a look at, I’d begin seeing adverts for tablets to cut back hypertension or meditative apps assured to decrease similar. Fb’s managed to wriggle into my enterprise sufficient that I get adverts for merchandise I’ve actually simply spoken about to pals in individual and have by no means even regarded up (sure, this bothers the heck out of me — and no, I’m not going to let it go). I’m undecided 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 speedy 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 essentially the most useful is one which exhibits customers Federally Qualified Health Centers of their space the place they’ll obtain their preventative well being care no matter their capability to pay. As Fb precisely identified in its assertion, not everybody has insurance coverage (below which these screenings are normally free). Assuming that really works, it might serve a real want amongst those that would possibly in any other case not take into account getting their preventative exams.


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