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Humana Readies New Online Assessment Tool

Turning to the Internet to help identify its high-risk members and monitor their care, Humana has embraced a Rhode Island company's new personal-health assessment tool. Offered by QualityMetric Inc., the online service (www. amIhealthy.com) allows anyone with a personal computer to create a unique health profile that tells what the results mean, and what a person should do about them.

The system uses a dynamic assessment, meaning that as a user answers questions, irrelevant questions are skipped until a reliable profile can be generated. Patients are encouraged to print their profiles and take them to their physicians, who in turn, can help patients work toward improvement goals and learn to monitor their own progress. The program, which can be completed in as few as five questions, was developed by John Ware, Ph.D., QualityMetric's president and developer of the SF-36 and SF-12 surveys.

While the logistics of how it will capture and use personal health-assessment data are yet to be worked out, Humana envisions being able to detect illnesses and intervene early in the disease process.

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