AMA, FICS coalition launch consumer flu site

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The AMA partnered with the Flu Information Care System (FICS) – a coalition of pharmacies, drug makers, state governments, tech providers and others – to launch a flu assessment site for consumers.

The site will help patients determine the severity of their flu symptoms and share that information with a physician. Physicians will be able to use tools on the site to monitor their patients' symptoms, and manage patient flow within their respective practices. Mary Anne McCaffree, an AMA board member, said the site is the first step in a larger AMA web initiative that will provide additional online tools for patients and docs. As those tools are developed, new conditions outside of the flu will be added to a larger “umbrella portal,” according to an AMA spokesperson.

The flu site, AMAfluhelp.org, launched today and is powered by Healthy Circles, a personal health management destination that utilizes Microsoft's HealthVault technology for the storing of individual patient information. Consumers can take the flu assessment test on the site anonymously, or register to save and share information.
 
FICS industry partners, such as Merck, Epocrates and CVS/Caremark, will promote the site to physicians and consumers, but will not be able to advertise products or services through the site, according to the spokesperson. The state of Colorado is the first state to adopt the technology. Government health sites in Colorado will link directly to the AMA site, and put the system into practice today, Colorado medical representatives said on a press call.
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