Facebook Wades Into Mobile Health

7-2-2013 9-46-04 PM

Facebook has officially entered the mHealth waters. Following a highly successful project designed to increase organ donor registration, the company announces that it is working on a communication platform that will help match patients seeking organ donors with those that may be in a position to respond.

The functionality is expected to go live by the end of 2013. There are sensitive design elements, such as how to avoid the possibility of coercion or financial exchange, that need to be carefully considered. Currently, there are more than 100,000 people on the organ donor list, of which 80 percent are waiting for a kidney donor.

Prior to the announcement, Facebook had launched a smaller program aimed at raising organ donor awareness that has since been credited with significantly increasing organ donor registration rates since its deployment. The program allowed users to add their organ-donor registration status as a “life event” on their profile page. The program was used by more than 13,000 new organ donors to register as a donor, a 21-fold increase over typical numbers of registrations.

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