October, 2007

  • DaveDev

    Announcing Microsoft HealthVault!



    So what is this all about?

    We all know the healthcare system today is rife with unique challenges, especially for consumers. Health information is fragmented by incompatible systems, and siloed patient data. Fundamentally, these are software challenges and also opportunities that Microsoft is well positioned to address by reaching people online and on their PC. The products we’re announcing today exemplify how Microsoft’s strategy of software + services can help solve complicated information problems.

    What will be available on the site?

    Microsoft HealthVault, Microsoft HealthVault Connection Center, and Microsoft HealthVault Search.

    • Microsoft HealthVault is a new technology platform that’s designed to help people collect, store and manage their health information and make more informed health and wellness decisions.
    • HealthVault Connection Center is software that uploads data from your health and fitness devices from your PC to your HealthVault record.
    • HealthVault Search is a vertical search application that ties to the platform and integrates with Live Search and MSN H&F to help people refine searches faster and with more accuracy while helping protect their privacy.

    NY times is running an article and Business week has more details here.

    Is this the end of clipboards and paper forms every time we go to the doctors or hospital?  I would like to think it is a step in the right direction.  Concerns around privacy and security will certainly be at the forefront, and it will take time to feel comfortable with this format I think.  Ultimately, you the consumer will be the one to decide. 


    Check it out yourself today at http://www.HealthVault.com


    Update: I would strongly suggest everyone check out Dan Kasun's post about HealthVault.  Dan has a unique perspective having actively worked in this space for a while with health care providers, life science professionals and developers alike.  He brings about a lot of great points and includes links to additional resources such as the HealthVault SDK and research on patient safety.   


  • DaveDev

    Boston Remix kicks off Monday!


    As previously mentioned, Boston Remix is here and it is going to be a blast! 

    I will be one of the speakers Tuesday presenting on UX in the Enterprise.  Please stop in and say hello if you are attending and we can catch up. =)

    See you in Boston!

    UPDATE: The event was amazing!  Thanks for all who came out.  Please subscribe to the RSS feed here for ongoing updates!

  • DaveDev

    User Experience in the Enterprise, and why it matters!


    IT Departments in today’s enterprise are consistently being asked to do more with less. But how do you accomplish such a feat? One of the often overlooked areas is that of user experience. Bad user experience can cause employee frustration and it costs money in ways not initially thought of. Lost employee productivity hours, increased helpdesk calls, cost of mistakes in financials. Microsoft’s platform today offers both designers and developers a chance to speak the same language. The result is increased end user satisfaction, loyalty, and cost savings to IT.

    Over the past several years, I lived the life of an Enterprise Developer.  The technologies changed, the people I worked with changed, even the industries were different, but one thing remained the same.  IT was always asked to do more with less.

    There are numerous ideas floating around that were created to address this.  A lot of them target the process of project management, and indirectly the process of software creation.  Some look more towards consolidation: data centers, websites, and redundant applications.  Others look to leverage resources outside of their own domain; whether this is the physical hardware (Servers, Network Storage) or the services these applications consume (Web Services, RSS Feeds).   As an Enterprise Developer I was often involved with a lot of these. My projects involved moving business logic into tiers that could be hosted on servers outside our own walls.  I would automate complex systems, reducing redundant computer processes or help link systems together via Web Services to better consolidate. 

    But there was always one area I felt was overlooked: User Experience, or UX.  Looking back now it seems so obvious of a solution why did no one see it? One of the biggest costs for IT is usually the ongoing support of their applications.  Whether this is the administration of such applications or the end user support of a word document the end result is the same: people.  At the end of the day people are the ones who run our systems, and people are the ones who use it.  But people are often overlooked when it comes to planning a project.   It was a rare occasion for me to be on a project where the User Experience actually had requirements in the project. 

    "My belief is that one of the most significant reasons for the failure of organizations to develop new software products in-house is the absence of anything that a design professional would recognize as an explicit design process," from Bill Buxton’s book, Sketching User Experience.

    Good User Experience can be an area of great cost savings and it has other benefits as well which we will discuss

    FinancialDevelopers.com is hosting my full Article here.  Check it out!

    More to come, stay tuned!

  • DaveDev

    Happy 30th Atari 2600!



    Debuting in 1977 at $199 it brought gaming into the family household in a big way.  I remember getting a used Atari 2600 from an ad my parents found in the paper (200 Bucks was a lot to spend on electronics back then!).  I think it came with a couple cartridges - Missile Command (still my favorite 2600 game of which I still play now on Xbox Live), Dragracing, and Shootout.

    My parents felt they were buying us a new and exciting piece of technology - something to get their boys away from all that television and be a little more interactive.  My brother and I thought we had found a wondrous cauldron of infinite possibility, and it still didn't get us away from that TV.  The hours we spent playing those games got both of us interested in technology, and ultimately the computers that were to come after.  Perhaps our parents were smarter than we thought.  =)

    Here's to you Mr. 2600!  You can still bring a smile to my face after all these years.

    Engadget is running a story here and a little bit of history can be found here.  


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