MANAGEMENT: Lori Orlando
DUKE INVENTOR: Geoff Ginsburg

MeTree is a family health history tool. Prior to an appointment, the doctor’s office will send an app-based survey for your/your family health history. Based on this data, the product will run algorithms, generate a report, and provide recommendations on lifestyle interventions with an overall goal of building a database of health, diseases, and outcomes.

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Family history in primary care

The systematic collection of family health history (FHH) can identify individuals at increased risk for common diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer; many evidence-based guidelines rely upon risk stratification using FHH to guide the appropriate use of alternative (non-routine) screening procedures (such as breast MRI), diagnostic tests, and/or genetic counseling.

Unfortunately there are several barriers to the adequate collection of FHH within routine primary care: lack of patient preparation to provide FHH, the amount of time needed to collect FHH, lack of standardization, and limited training in synthesizing FHH data into a clinically actionable care plan.


To address these issues, we have created a web-based patient-entered risk stratification and clinical decision support tool, MeTree, with the following design goals:

  • Develop a collection interface that is easy for patients to use and facilitates collection of all the necessary FHH and personal history components to perform risk stratification (full 3-generation pedigree with age of disease onset, current age or age of death, and cause of death for each relative)
  • Provide lay level and technical decision support that is clinically actionable for providers, activating for patients, and easy for patients and providers to understand • Base decision support upon guidelines widely accepted by PCPs and provide just-in-time education within the reports about what criteria triggered the recommendation, points to consider about the recommendation, data such as NNT, references to the guidelines, and links to additional resources
  • Capitalize on the patient-provider encounter to encourage discussions of preventive health and disease risk management.

MeTree will be available as an independent web-service that provides risk stratification and clinical decision support for the following conditions: breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, hereditary cancer syndromes, coronary artery disease, hereditary cardiovascular conditions, stroke, aortic aneurysm, diabetes, and hereditary liver diseases (such as hemochromatosis).