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Tracking your Blood Pressure with help from HealthVault and this Windows Phone 8 app

[Note: This is not an April Fools joke/thing/whatever. <rant>I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty tried of the whole Tech April Fools meme. We might as well not read anything today... sigh </rant>]

Today's Mobile Monday project is one that's kind of cool, in a weird "track your health stat's via a Windows Phone 8 Health Vault enabled app" kind of way.

Like many do as they get older, I've been tracking some of my health stats, like blood pressure recently. And being a dev, where did I track them? No, not there (in a custom dev'd app), but Excel. Yeah, I know... I'd have to remember to write them down, and when I got home update my Xlsx.

Well now that there's the SkyDrive, Web Excel and Excel on my Windows Phone 8 (and Surface RT) I could be a little less lame and do it right there in the Dr's office.

But still, Excel? (cough... lame... cough)

Isn't there a much broader heath bases system and infrastructure? One that can be a repository for all your health data? One where there's app's, devices, etc?

Yep, there's Microsoft's HealthVault. And there's an API too! (You were wondering when we'd get to the coding stuff, weren't you?)

So wouldn't it be cool to be able to easily, securely, from your phone add or update your data?

Today's project by Ranjan.D does just that...

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Blood Pressure Tracker, Win 8 Phone Based HealthVault App

This application interacts with HealthVault. One has to create a HealthVault application and makes use of the Application Id in Blood Pressure Tracker App.

For now you can run the sample application without creating a new application in HealthVault. However it can be used only for testing and not for production. In reality all your blood pressure information will be stored in HealthVault. You are responsible for your own data. Please make sure to keep them secret and not to disclose to unauthorized persons.

Please note : This article does not deal with how to move test HealthVault application to production.  Also no part of the concept , code is related to my current or previous organizations.

Introduction 

This article is all about blood pressure and it's tracking. Blood Pressure Tracker, A Windows 8 Phone application developed for tracking the day to day blood pressure states. Before jumping into the technical details about the
application , we will try to understand about blood pressure and related terminologies.  

Domain knowledge is very important for a technical person so that one can understand and contribute better. Many a times programmers don't understand what they do, they just try to complete their work items. They don't bother to understand the business. Things may work fine for few , however it's very important for us to understand the domain so that one can meet the expectations of business analyst or product managers and deliver the right product to customer. 

The blood pressure tracker application stores all the information in Microsoft HealthVault. The same is being fetched. We will not go in detail about the HealthVault integration but to an extent we will see how to communicate with it.  

Let us now start with the basic understanding of blood pressure.

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After explaining what and how's of blood pressure, the article goes into detail on how you can create a new HealthVault Application

Creating a New HealthVault Application

For now we will work on development environment of HealthVault. First of all we need a HealthVault Application Id in order for our application to communicate with the HealthVault. Below is the link for creating a new HealthVault Application. You need a windows live Id, click on the below link and log into the site.

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Then it's code, code, code

Using the code

The Blood Pressure Tracker App uses some of the HealthVault libraries to integrate with HealthVault for authenticating the user and then storing and fetching of blood pressure information.

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The sample code ran for me fine the first time, which is always nice. Here's a snap of the Solution

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As the author states clearly (and the app makes very apparent) this is just the starting point, connecting to a test/dev HealthVault server.

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There's more steps involved in rolling into production (which makes sense, do we really want it easy for any app/systems/etc to access our health data? Without some kind of controls and processes in place?) but this does get you started down the road and building your next Health App.

They say Health/Medical is the next big "thing," maybe this is your chance to catch that next wave (or at least code something different...Wink

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