Ancestry.com, one of the most popular genealogy websites, has launched something new. It is called AncestryHealth and it is currently in beta. What does this mean for genealogists who use Ancestry.com?
AncestryHealth is an online tool that helps people discover, preserve, and share their family’s health information. People who track the conditions that run in their family can learn a lot about their own health. Many genealogists create a medical family tree specifically for the purpose of tracking the diseases, disorders, and conditions that run in their family.
Those who use AncestryHealth to discover, preserve, and share their family’s health history will receive customized information about risks and prevention measures, based upon what was in their family’s health history. People can use that information to make healthy choices.
Anyone who wants to can use AncestryHealth for free. A person can do this regardless of whether or not they happen to have an Ancestry.com subscription. Genealogists who have an Ancestry.com subscription can import the family tree they created there into AncestryHealth. Those who lack an Ancestry.com subscription can create their family tree at AncestryHealth.
In short, AncestryHealth is a website where people can put together their own medical family tree. Some genealogists may find it more convenient to use AncestryHealth than to try and keep track of (and update) a medical family tree on paper. It is possible to print out your medical family tree at AncestryHealth so that you can take it to your doctor.
As always, it is a good idea to read over the privacy statement in any website that you intend to put personal information into. AncestryHealth has a privacy statement, an informed consent statement, and terms of service. DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy blog dug into the Informed Consent statement at AncestryHealth.
The Informed Consent statement points out that AncestryHealth will analyze genealogical, genetic, and health information. The genetic information comes to them from AncestryDNA, but only if a person chooses to allow AncestryHealth access to that information.
How does AncestryHealth obtain genealogical information? It explains what it defines as “Genealogical Information”. It includes “your pedigree, ethnicity, family history, and other information about you and your family that you provide, information contained in documents and records on Ancestry.com’s family of websites and other locations”.
The Privacy Statement points out that AncestryHealth may use other parties to show you AncestryHealth related advertisements that are tailored to you. You are automatically opted-in to receiving those type of targeted ads. Those that use Facebook will be automatically opted-in to seeing AncestryHealth related ads on Facebook. There is a possibility of opting-out, but it doesn’t seem very straightforward.
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