On the heels of Google’s Project Glass, Facebook is the latest Internet giant to debut a feature that could have an impact on healthcare. The company announced May 1 that users of the social networking site can now share their organ donor status via their profiles.
Facebook users can add their organ donor status, including where and when they registered, to their Timeline, the site’s chronological user interface. Those who aren’t yet donors can follow a link to sign up with the appropriate registry.
The site also offers other options for sharing health and wellness lifestyle events with followers. There are options to post about overcoming an illness, quitting a habit, weight loss, and more. As with any posts to the site, users can choose to make their health and wellness updates public, private, or viewable only by select Facebook “friends.”
A spokeswoman for the company says Facebook does not intend to expand options for users to share health information via the site.
“We dont have any plans to be in this field beyond the organ donor tool,” the company’s Sarah Feinberg said in a statement.
But people have shown a willingness to share and receive information about their health via social media. A Pricewaterhouse Coopers survey on consumer attitudes and behaviors about social media in healthcare found that almost a quarter of respondents post about their health experiences or updates on social media, and 18% use social media to trace and share their health symptoms or behavior. Almost half say they would use social media to share information about their health with a doctor.