Facebook's head of health research says physicians need more personal patient data

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Freddy Abnousi, MD, Facebook's head of health research, wants physicians to have access to more granular data on patients' social and behavioral characteristics to better predict and treat illnesses, according to CNBC.

Researchers have found evidence that a person's social life affects their health more than almost any other major risk factor. However, this research comes with limitations because the data researchers have been working with includes few details beyond general demographics, Dr. Abnousi said at the Manova Summit in Minneapolis on Oct. 10.

Although Dr. Abnousi advocated for large-scale access to data on patients' social and behavioral characteristics, he did not specifically call for using Facebook or Instagram user data, according to CNBC.

"The primary driver of health outcomes in the United States are social and behavioral variables," he said. "Really understanding what these social determinants of health are should be our primary area of focus."

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