A Patient-Entered Family Health History Program

Intermountain’s Clinical Genetics Institute (CGI) received an award from Microsoft HealthVault to provide seed funding for the development of a family health history software application. The goal of this ongoing project is to develop an engaging and easy-to-use tool Intermountain patients can use to collect and store their family health history information.  

The web-based family history program is hosted on Intermountain’s MyHealth patient portal. Any MyHealth user will be able to access, enter, and update their family health history using the application. One advantage of hosting the program in a portal is we can store the data in the patient’s electronic health record at Intermountain. Having family history data available can help practitioners better assess disease risk for both individual patients and their families.

My Health portal users can enjoy building their first. An option to import a GEDCOM file (created by any genealogy software or website) is also available.

Users can then add personal, health, and disease and condition information for each family member on the tree (which is restricted to only 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree relatives). Finally, a summary report of the information can be printed to share with healthcare providers.

Working on Advanced Features

The Genetics Institute is working on subsequent phases of the program that will add advanced features. In the near future, after gathering and entering their family history, patients will have options to:

  • Share their data with other family members to help relatives create their own family histories.
  • Have a comprehensive disease risk assessment report generated that will aid the patient in making medical decisions with their healthcare providers.
  • If they have an account, they can upload their data to Microsoft HealthVault.
  • Have non-Intermountain patients use a publically available Internet-based version of the application to better share data and participate in family-based medical research.
  • Add genetic test results to the family tree to better see how diseases may “run in the family.”

This project is a partnership between the CGI and the Homer Warner Center for Informatics Research – a computer technology research group within Intermountain Healthcare.  

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