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Surgeon general updates health-history Tool

Posted Jan 14 2009 6:33pm

With the pilot program in Arizona and Utah for Medicare using commercial products to include Google Health, I guess perhaps even this Health History tool one day could connect to Google Health or the HealthVault as all the rest of the PHRs seem to be doing, even Verichip with the implanted chip now talks to the HealthVault.   It does require all data to be entered manually and the other 2 use vendors to auto pump the information into the program.  image The website has been updated with a new look. 

The page also states that the Family Health Portrait is PHR and EHR ready, but it seems pretty scaled down by comparison as far as information contained.  If all you want is family history, I guess it fills the bill, but if you want labs, medications, the ability to connect with heart monitors and glucose machines, then Google Health or the Health vault might have the answers.  

You can even find clinical trials based on your chart with both of them as well, and there’s a widget on the blog to try it out before connecting to the PHRs.  Last time I posted about the Family Health Portrait, I thought maybe this was a duplication of efforts with all the other choices available today, but this time I’ll let everyone else be their own judge as the choices even go way beyond the 2 free programs I mentioned.  BD 

HHS and the Surgeon General's Office reintroduced what they described as an updated and improved version of a Web-based tool for individuals and families to create their own health histories while HHS also announced the launch of its Medicare personal health-record pilot for Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona and Utah.


The surgeon general first developed the family history tool, called My Family Health Portrait, in 2004 with help from the Indian Health Service, according to a news release.

Individuals can choose from a list of ailments and diseases and can forward copies of the history to various family members for verification and additions. The tool allows individuals and families to graph their “family tree” that includes the diagnoses of each family member.

“In order to make the products of the family health history tool interoperable in an EHR environment, developers of the tool have used existing standards including the HL7 Family History Model, LOINC, SNOMED-CT and HL7 Vocabulary. In addition, the tool includes an applicable subset of information from the minimum core dataset for family health history as developed pursuant to recommendations by the American Health Information Community.”

Surgeon general updates health-history Web tool - Modern Healthcare

Related Reading:

Family Health Portrait from the US Surgeon General – Duplication of Efforts

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