Announced for several months, the Facebook health service is starting to appear among a few users. The social network wants to give its users medical advice.
With Facebook, never miss any flu vaccination campaign! For a few hours now, some users of the social network have had access to new functions dedicated to health. Facebook has been planning to get into this business for several months.
Facebook health monitoring service: Reminders and events
Unlike Apple or Google (which stores your medical data and offers you a kind of connected health book), Facebook wants to be more of a secretary than a doctor. In the health section of the social network, there are for example reminders for screening for cervical cancer, offered by the American Cancer Society. If you have already done so, you can tell the social network and it will send you an alert when the time comes to do one again. Facebook does light preventative medicine.
Looks like Facebook is starting to roll out its new preventive health tool. Important to note that health info you share on social media platforms is not covered by HIPAA, which means Facebook is not obligated by law to protect it. pic.twitter.com/4xmiIPHpZL
— Emily Mullin (@emilylmullin) December 29, 2019
Of course, the Health tab on Facebook is personalized. During the first configuration, you must indicate your age and gender to access the first recommendations. This winter, for example, the social network will explain how to get the flu vaccine.
Doubts about data confidentiality
Facebook reassures many people who are concerned about how such data will be treated. On its site, Mark Zuckerberg’s company swears to do nothing with the medical data of its users. These will only be available in the social network, which will not share them with your friends or third-party companies. Facebook also explains that it does not collect any medical results and is satisfied with knowing whether or not you went to an examination. There will be no advertising.
Given Facebook’s past and the private status of its new service, doubts remain nonetheless. We can nevertheless hope that the social network is limited to this preventive role and does not try to go further … while knowing full well that it will be tempted to do more.