One of the items I've been working on is a white paper on using Connected Devices and HealthVault for scenarios such as patient reported outcomes and patient adherence.  In the course of writing this white paper Windows Phone 7 was released. This of course caused us to think: how could Windows Phone 7 be used in the context of Clinical Trials?

Windows Phone 7 could be used in many ways in clinical research: Patient Reported Outcomes, Patient Adherence (Medication Reminders, Visit Reminders) or even Patient Randomization by the Principal Investigator during the first study visit.

Frankly, Patient Randomization would be an easy app to write for the phone: launch the app, use the PI’s credentials and site ID, press submit, the app talks to the randomization web service and returns to the phone the subject ID and treatment arm.  There is more to it than that, of course, but straightforward.  But for the Patient oriented oriented uses, we need the think a little deeper.

Work is being done currently by PPD using HealthVault and Amalga for REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Services).  At the same time both Cleveland Clinic and Kaiser Permanente have been using HealthVault for improving Patient Outcomes from the hospital perspective.  So with those applications up and running, why not HealthVault for ePRO (Patient Reported Outcomes) and eDiaries in a clinical trial context?  And if that can be done, why not do it on Windows Phone 7?

 

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The main question then for this blog is how do you connect Windows Phone 7 with HealthVault?

It turns out that there is an architectural issue in directly connecting Windows Phone 7 with HealthVault that centers around the ability for the phone to authenticate via X.509 certificates with HealthVault.  The folks at Veracity Software actually attempted this method of connecting with HealthVault and found the same limitation.  There are two threads on the topic:

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible!  A Windows Phone Glucose Tracker that connects to HealthVault was recently released into the Windows Phone App Store.  Created by the folks over at HealthSaaS, it takes a different approach to HealthVault connectivity.  Instead of going direct from the phone to HealthVault, they have the phone connect to a web service, which in turn connects to HealthVault. 

There is also a very nice blog article written by the HealthVault folks on the topic of connecting mobile devices (in general) to HealthVault.

In the end, there are numerous ways to connect a Windows Phone 7 app to HealthVault and we’ll use the next few blog articles to describe them in the context of clinical trials.  Some of the methods aren’t optimal but we present them anyway because someone will ask eventually.  And – to make it better – there are developments underway that may add other methods to this list – so stay tuned.

Here are ways we’ll discuss for connecting a Windows Phone to HealthVault – we’ll go through each in detail in future blog posts:

  1. From the phone through HealthVault Connection Center on the PC – Not recommended.
  2. From the phone, through a stand-alone application on the PC that connects to HealthVault – Feasible, but not optimal
  3. Direct from an app on the phone to a Web Service then into HealthVault – Right now, the most optimal way.
  4. Hardcoding HealthVault URLs and HTTPS Gets/Posts in the Phone App – Basically, HTML-scraping.  It works, but what happens if HealthVault URLs change?
  5. Direct from an app on the phone into HealthVault – the Holy Grail, but the certificate authentication issues need to be fixed.

So, as I’ve been in the depths of coding, it means that over the next few weeks we’ll go through each of these methods, giving examples from the context of ePRO (Patient Reported Outcomes) and eDiaries (Patient Diaries for Clinical Trials).

Enjoy the ride!