About Health On The Net

Our beginnings

The Health On the Net Foundation (HON) was born in May 1996, during the beginning of the World Wide Web, from a collective decision by health specialists, guided by the late Professor Jean-Raoul Scherrer, and under the impetus of former Geneva State Councilor Guy-Olivier Segond.

Because the Internet is a free space that everyone shares, a search for quality information is like a shot in the dark: neither will reliably hit their target. Health On the Net Foundation's origins go back to the September 1995 meeting on the Use of the Internet and World-Wide Web for Telematics in Healthcare, when some of the world's foremost experts on telemedicine gathered in Geneva, Switzerland. The visionary experts who created HON anticipated the need for trustworthy health information online.

Thus, HON was created to promote the deployment of useful and reliable health information online and to enable its appropriate and efficient use. Two decades on, the HONcode is the oldest and most valued quality marker for online health information. It is a pragmatic solution that has been adopted by more than 8,000 websites. HON is a not-for-profit international foundation and non-governmental organization.

What we do

At HON, we work to develop realistic and applicable solutions related to our mission: “to promote the effective and reliable use of the new technologies for telemedicine in healthcare around the world.” Over the past two decades, we have identified two main challenges for which we develop schemes, conduct research activities to use on pragmatic and concrete services, and collaborate with other entities on multiple projects:

Our collaborations

HON has been granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). This status facilitates relations with United Nations bodies, including special relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), and reinforces our consultative role with government ministries in several countries where HON has contacts.

HON also holds the status of “Liaison A” to the Health Informatics Technical Committee (ISO/TC 215) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This status allows us to contribute to the elaboration of standards developed by ISO/TC 215, particularly in the domains of data structure, semantic content and security.