FORMER GOOGLE HEALTH STRATEGIST JOINS FACEBOOK HEALTH TEAM

Roni Zeiger — who formerly served as Google chief health strategist — is boarding Facebook’s health team as its first-ever head of health strategy; he’ll focus on the social media giant’s newly added health support groups, MobiHealth News reports. Facebook unveiled these groups last month in hopes of providing a space for users to anonymously post sensitive health information, but it’s likely consumer skepticism awaits considering Facebook’s been criticized for its shadydata-sharing practices.

Zeiger could reel in anxieties that crop up about Facebook’s health support groups. Zeiger founded a startup, dubbed Smart Patients, in 2013 that offers an online community where patients with the same medical conditions can connect; the startup also helps patients find clinical trials they might be eligible to participate in through partnerships with organizations like the Colon Cancer Alliance, MedCity News notes. Developing this role and tapping Zeiger — who has a track record of building out trusted online groups and forging partnerships with health firms — suggests that Facebook is buckling down on its health play and eyeing industry experts to bring it forward.