10 ways Facebook is embracing digital health

By Laura Lovett
02:00 pm
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As social media becomes more ingrained in everyday life it has also become increasingly a part of the digital health space. Even governments have taken notice of the potential of the platforms, creating partnerships and initiatives centered around social media aiming to keep its populations healthy. For example, in January the Canadian government announced an initiative to use artificial intelligence to help track social media posts that could indicate someone is at risk of suicide. 

The UK’s NHS took a different angle to social media and tapped into the dating app Tinder a few years ago with an initiative to promote organ donations. But social media has also created some issues in the healthcare space as well. Take Grindr, a dating app that caters to gay and bisexual men. In April, news broke that the app was sharing its users’ HIV status to app optimization companies, Apptimize and Localytics. The company denies selling the data to companies. 

But when it comes to the largest social media platform out there, at the moment, none can compete with Facebook, boasting 2.2 billion monthly users. 

Facebook has made concerted efforts to get involved with health initiates over the last few years, zeroing in on everything from blood drive donations to suicide prevention. The platform has also been used in a slew of studies. 

Read on for a catalogue of research and initiatives Facebook has made in the digital health space over the last few years.