Welcome to another release and update of HealthVault!

We are very pleased to introduce substantial new technologies like HealthVault Event Notification Service, HealthVault Getting Started Wizard, Second Factor Authorization and support for NHIN-D and Blue Button project.

HealthVault 1012 release is now available in the  HealthVault pre-production environment. These changes will be available in production environment next week.

The associated version of HealthVault .NET SDK is available here. Please note the Assembly version of .NET SDK for this release is 2.0.0.0.This is a breaking release and not compatible with previous HealthVault .NET SDKs.

Following are some of the features and improvements done in this release :

HealthVault Event Notification Service

HealthVault Event Notification Service is a new capability of the HealthVault platform that allows applications to subscribe to specific events and receive an asynchronous notification when the event happens. For an example, an application can register to be notified when a new blood pressure measurement is added to a user’s record.

Learn more about this service with a getting started guide and a blog post by Eric, understand the mechanics in the SDK reference documentation, and try out a code sample available on codeplex.

Getting Started Wizard

Getting Started Wizard = Better Discovery for Clinical Data Sources, Services and Applications.

The first experience a new user has with HealthVault has changed in this release with the introduction of a getting started wizard.  This wizard is displayed for all new users when they sign into Shell for the first time and walks them through two steps:

  1. The user is asked which health related interests best match their inspiration for creating a HealthVault account.clip_image001 Fig 1. Getting Started Wizard Step 12.
  2. The second step displays a list of clinical data sources and services that match the selected health interests from the first step.  These clinical data sources and services are intended to include HealthVault integrated data sources in areas such as pharmacies, PBM, payers, labs, etc. which might have health related information for the new HealthVault user.clip_image001[5] Fig 2. Getting Started Wizard Step 2.

When the user is finished with the wizard, the list of selected applications is displayed on the home page along with other HealthVault integrated application that match their selected health interests.

Second Factor Authentication

Second factor authentication provides the HealthVault users with the ability to enable a second level of authentication when signing into HealthVault services.  This additional authentication is kept separate from the primary authentication (Live ID, Open ID) in its process and information so that in the case where the primary authentication is compromised, the second authentication is still available.  This is an optional feature available to all HealthVault users and uses an established authentication provider, PhoneFactor.

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Fig 3. Second Factor Authentication

This feature is disabled in the HealthVault PPE environment.

Message Data Type

This new data type was created to store a multipart message, including message text and attachments , and is intended to be compatible with the SendMail Multipart MIME format. The primary scenario for this data type comes from the larger efforts by NHIN Direct Project and focus on the secure doctor / patient messaging.

Blue Button Integration

We support integration with Blue button initiative. Users can now upload their VA or CMS Blue Button files in the HealthVault Shell and add the data contained in them to their HealthVault record using the reconcile interface.

Breaking Version Of HealthVault .NET SDK

To support some significant functionality as above and also to make our SDK more componentized and testable we have made this version of HealthVault SDK a breaking version.

The existing HealthVault SDKs didn’t make it easy if you wanted to write isolated (or method-level) unit tests for features that talked to the HealthVault Platform. You could usually do it by designing your own layer that could return simulated results (sometimes called “mocking” in agile methodologies), but that was sometimes difficult because of the way the SDK worked. We are introducing a new class HealthVaultPlatform which encapsulates most of the functionality of the platform to make mocking easier.  For samples, and a detailed walk-through you can read Eric’s blog.

In future versions of this work we will also introduce mocking features for Blob operations.

Please feel free to provide feedback on this release in the comments below.

Update: Added links to evening sample and documentation.