Facebook’s recent addition of an ‘Organ Donor‘ status to its ‘Life event’ user options demonstrated yet again the power of the world’s most popular social website and number two Internet destination to shape the conversation around health issues.
In the text accompanying the instructions concerning the addition of organ donor status to timelines, facebook explains:
More than 114,000 people in the United States, and millions more around the globe, are waiting for the heart, kidney or liver transplant that will save their lives. Many of those people – an average of 18 people per day – will die waiting, because there simply aren’t enough organ donors to meet the need. Medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis.
With the addition of “organ donor” to the Life Events section of timeline, you can state your intention to become an organ donor, and share your story about when, where or why you decided to become a donor. If you are not officially registered as an organ donor, sign up with the appropriate registry.
At a stroke, facebook made issues around organ donorship highly visible to its 900 million active users.
Would it be a Utopian boon or dystopian curse to have all the health resources we needed in one place?
What if facebook was:
- Where your electronic health record resided
- Where you searched for high quality health information
- Where your patient community convened
- Where you were able to consult with your healthcare professional in private
- Where you stored, quantified and analysed the personal health data streaming from your body
Taste maker, mould breaker and earth shaker though it may be, how culturally competent is facebook?
How do you feel about being invited to share your health history on one area of your timeline, and the location of your latest tattoo or piercing (because everyone has at least one of each, apparently ;)) in another?