Facebook is set to follow Apple into the mobile health field according to a new report from Reuters.
Citing three people familiar with the matter, the report states that Facebook has been discussing the move with medical industry experts, and is currently in the early stages of assembling an R&D team for the creation of health-related mobile apps.
While it’s not stating what these apps would involve, the report also claims that Facebook is looking to tap into its massive data stores to create online support communities bringing together different people suffering from the same illnesses. Facebook was supposedly inspired to do this after realizing that many users of the social network use it to ask for medical advice.
To date, Facebook’s biggest claim in the health field was its successful organ donor status launch in 2012, in which registrations to donate organs jumped from an average of 616 to an impressive 13,054.
Seeing as Apple has been working on assembling its biotech mobile health team for at least several years, Facebook is hardly breaking ground with its possible entry into this market. Still, with Apple pushing its mobile health agenda through the launch of HealthKit and the health-tracking Apple Watch, this could be a great opportunity for Facebook to cement itself as one of the biggest name mobile developers working on the platform.