When I say preventative care applications and health support communities, you say … Facebook?
Facebook, eternal tracker of all things you, is planning a move into the healthcare realm. That’s the word from Reuters, who quotes the omnipresent “people familiar with the matter”. There are three of them this time.
Apparently it’s serious, as Facebook has already held meetings with “medical industry experts and entrepreneurs, and is setting up a research and development unit to test new health apps,” according to Reuters.
Right now, Facebook is reportedly looking into jumpstarting various support communities to address health issues – all of which would work nicely with Facebook’s existing graph of course. The company is also looking into “preventative care” applications.
Both Apple and Google are already steps ahead of Facebook in terms of nudging their way into this field, so Facebook would surely be playing catch-up. But Facebook boasts something neither Apple nor Google can – a fully functioning social graph with over a billon active users. People are already discussing their medical issues on Facebook – anyone who spends even a few minutes a day scrolling their news feed knows that.
One of the hurdles for Facebook is obvious – privacy concerns. Many people have a problem trusting Facebook with their birthday – much less their intimate medical details.
But Facebook apparently has a plan. Going on the fact that many people don’t even know Facebook owns Instagram, Reuters says that “the company is considering rolling out its first health application quietly and under a different name, a source said.”
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