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Facebook announces new health tool that urges users to get preventive care

Would you trust health advice from Facebook? The site's new tool will send you reminders about preventative care like getting your flu shots and cancer screenings.

MAINE, USA — Facebook announces a new health tool the social media site says, could save lives.

On Monday, October 28, Facebook announced its new health feature, Preventive Health, that urges its users to get preventative health screening based on recommendations from leading U.S. health organizations.

Facebook’s new health tool will send you reminders about such preventative measures as flu shots, cancer screenings, blood pressure checks and much more. 

Facebook says the health recommendations are based on a user's age and sex from their account profile.  

According to Facebook, can use Preventive Health to:

View checkup recommendations from leading US health organizations.

Find locations near you that may offer suggested checkups.

Track checkups you’ve done and set reminders.

Share the feature with family and friends.

During an interview, published by CNET.com Dr. Freddy Abnousi, Facebook's head of health care research says the tool is intended to encourage people to get preventive care. 

"We know that awareness and access are indicative of why people don't engage in preventive health in the U.S.," Abnousi said.

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook says these checkups have the potential to "detect disease early when it's most treatable and, in some cases, prevent it from developing. It’s a new, private way to get health information and reminders on Facebook from leading health organizations including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, the American College of Cardiology, and the CDC."

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Facebook says it plans to keep all your health information private and will not share any activity in Preventive Health with third parties such as health organizations or insurance companies.

People on Facebook won’t be able to see your activity either. 

The tool also helps users find affordable health centers.