Phenotype, sample and pedigree data required for a genomic diagnosis. This element is equivalent to the Genomics England InterpretationRequestRD.

In many cases, genetic diagnostics of Mendelian and other disease is performed on a family basis in order to check for cosegregation of candidate variants with a disease. Usually, one family member is designated as the proband, for instance, a child affected by a genetic disease might be the proband in a family. Genomic diagnostics might involve genome sequencing of the child and his or her parents. In this case, the Family element would include a Phenopacket for the child (proband element). If the parents themselves display phenotypic findings relevant to the analysis, then Phenopackets are included for them (using the relatives element). If the parents do not display any relevant phenotypic findings, then it is not necessary to include Phenopacket elements for them. Instead, their status as unaffected can be recorded with the Pedigree element.

Data model

Definition of the Family element
Field Type Status Description
id string required Application-specific identifier
proband Phenopacket required The proband (index patient) in the family
relatives Phenopacket (list) optional List of Phenopackets for family members other than the proband
pedigree Pedigree required Representation of the pedigree
hts_files HtsFile (list) optional High-throughput sequencing files obtained from members of the family
meta_data MetaData required Metadata about ontologies and references used in this message


An identifier specific for this family.


The individual representing the focus of this packet - e.g. the proband in rare disease cases or cancer patient. See Individual for further information.


Individuals related in some way to the patient. For instance, the individuals may be genetically related or may be members of a cohort. If this field is used, then it is expected that a pedigree will be included for genetically related individuals for use cases such as genomic diagnostics. If a phenopacket is being used to describe one member of a cohort, then in general one phenopacket will be created for each of the individuals in the cohort. If this field is used, then it is expected that a pedigree will be included for genetically related individuals for use cases such as genomic diagnostics. If all that is required is to record affected/not-affected status in a family, it is possible to use the pedigree element only.


The pedigree defining the relations between the proband and their relatives. This element contains information compatible with the information in a PED file. Pedigree.individual_id MUST map to the See Pedigree for further information.


This element contains a list of pointers to the relevant HTS file(s) for the family as a whole. For a Family these files MUST be merged/multi-sample files with appropriate genotype information. For a multi-sample file, the sample identifiers MUST each map to a Pedigree.individual_id referenced in the pedigree field, in order that linkage analysis can be performed on the sample.

See HtsFile for further information.


This element contains structured definitions of the resources and ontologies used within the phenopacket. It is expected that every valid Phenopacket contains a metaData element. See MetaData for further information.