A Facebook-based advanced care planning platform has been declared the winner of a California HealthCare Foundation design challenge.

The challenge, "Catalyzing Communication About End-of-Life Care," arose after a 2012 CHCF survey revealed that, though 60 percent of respondents said making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions about their care at the end of life is "extremely important," 56 percent had not communicated their end-of-life wishes to the loved one they would want making decisions on their behalf, and only 23 percent said they had their wishes in writing.

The winning entry, "Advance Care Planning on Facebook: Reaching the Non-Activated," identified Facebook as a platform that could be used to share decisions with family and friends while prompting them to do the same.

To help make the idea a reality, CHCF has provided grant support to TrueNorth Healthcare to create a platform that makes it easy to choose an advocate. After an advocate is chosen, family and friends can be encouraged to do the same by invitations through Facebook.

Challenge winner Michael Kersten, a master's candidate in health policy and management at the University of California at Berkeley, is TrueNorth's chief marketing officer.

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