Family Health Guy

In which Sean talks about HealthVault and other cool ideas in Personal Health

Livescape, now with HealthVault, nails mobile life tracking!

Livescape, now with HealthVault, nails mobile life tracking!

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For me, losing weight is pretty straightforward. Not easy, but straightforward. Eat less than 1,500 calories per day and I’ll start losing. Exercise and it will accelerate a tad. Problem is, tracking calories is a huge pain. This isn’t a new problem; in college I had a tiny little book I used to approximate calorie counts, and a few years ago I wrote about some tools that helped. Nothing perfect, but OK.

Anyways, when I got my new Windows Phone, I started poking around for similar tools, and was simply blown away by Livescape (then called Life Tracker). This app tracks everything, and does it well:

  • Diet, complete with a huge database of common and restaurant foods plus the ability to scan and OCR nutrition labels --- really!
  • Exercise, with GPS-based visual route mapping and calorie computation by activity type.
  • Health, including weight, blood pressure and glucose, mood, stress, fertility, etc.

There is just a ton there (I didn’t even get into the charting and other progress views) and Logan has done a super job making a great mobile interface --- you’re in and out of the app with just a few swipes. I became a devotee within just a few uses.

The only downside for me was that the app wasn’t connected to HealthVault --- so readings from my beloved Withings scale couldn’t be easily combined with my calorie counts. Seeing the “all up” picture for me is super-motivating … it’s real evidence that the work correlates to actual benefit.

So…. The moment we announced mobile libraries for HealthVault, I started a focused harassment campaign to drive Logan to add HealthVault connectivity to the application. Which he has now done. And launched on the Windows Phone Marketplace yesterday. And is a great freaking implementation. WOOOOO HOOOOO!

Check out all the data types that move between Livescape and HV:

  • Basic Info (downloaded to your Profile)
  • Blood Pressure (synchronized with Blood Pressure)
  • Body Composition (synchronized with Body Fat)
  • Calorie Guideline (synchronized with BMR)
  • Condition (synchronized with Condition)
  • Daily Dietary Intake (uploaded from your consumption history)
  • Emotional State (synchronized with Condition)
  • Exercise (synchronized with Activities)
  • Life Goal (synchronized with your Profile)
  • Height Measurement (synchronized with your Profile)
  • Sleep Session (synchronized with Sleep)
  • Weight Goal (synchronized with your Profile)
  • Weight Measurement (synchronized with Weight)

This really is the killer tracking app. Beyond the convenience of tracking calories and the like, with this tool we can really start to help folks identify the patterns that are hiding in their health lives.

A quick personal story: many folks know that Microsoft stocks our kitchens with free soda. I love free soda. I seriously drink about a dozen Diet Cokes a day (yes yes, I know). Now, shortly after returning to Microsoft from the “real world” in 2006 I noticed that I was getting a ton of headaches. With some focused thinking, I realized that these headaches were all starting about midday Saturday. Hmmm…. Caffeine withdrawal anyone? Switched to (still about a dozen) caffeine-free Diet Cokes a day during the work week, and all is well.

That was an easy pattern! But tougher ones are hiding in all of our lives, and the key to finding them is tracking and correlation. Livescape gives us a vehicle to make that happen that actually gets done. Just awesome. Are you listening, Quantified Self folks?

Highly recommend you give Livescape a try --- only on Windows Phone!

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  • Agreed. This app is a GREAT reason to get a Windows Phone. And that's coming from a former iPhone user!

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