A great time to set up your Family Health Portrait!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It’s just the right combination of family and friends, food and low-stress activity to reinforce the purpose --- a time to reflect on how incredibly lucky we are, and how we might share a bit of that good fortune with others. My daughter keeps us in line on the tradition front, too; no question that Mom’s Wonderbread/Cornbread stuffing and Great-Grandma’s apple crisp will be on the table.

I think it’s really cool and fitting that the Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving to be “Family Health History Day,” to connect about shared health issues that are a huge factor in the conditions and illnesses we’ll all face. I’ve written before about the awesome My Family Health Portrait tool they built together with 5AM Solutions to capture this information --- give it a try!

Once you create your portrait, it’s super-easy to save the information to HealthVault where it can be shared amongst your family, with providers or with other tools to help manage your health. Woo hoo!

And yes, it just gets better. This morning, Brent Gendleman and his team at 5AM announced that, in support of the Mama Mare Breast Cancer Foundation’s work with Dr. Kevin Hughes, they’ve linked HealthVault with the Hughes riskApps software used in a bunch of settings to help providers and individuals assess cancer risk.

Auto-populating riskApps with information created with the Surgeon General’s tool will “[cut] down on manual processes and written forms, allowing physicians, genetic counselors, and patients to spend more time together on health and risk assessment concerns.” And saving the information back to HealthVault will just keep that “health asset” growing.

Not a bad way to glide into the Thanksgiving break!