This week we are featuring daily guest posts by our colleague David Clare who is testing out the benefits of Microsoft HealthVault by monitoring and tracking his fitness levels using the Windows 8 HealthVault app. Below is the first of his daily posts and he will be keeping us up-to-date with his daily progress…
The quantified self is a fast growing trend in the UK. Closely linked to health and fitness, the idea of self-quantification is to track elements of your life where it is possible to do so, this may be through devices such as pedometers or weight scales for example, when it comes to health, or mood tracking apps and finance programmes for lifestyle areas.
HealthVault is a free tool, allowing people who do keep track of their health and fitness, to keep it in one place – where data is safe and secure, but also shareable to whoever you would like to know your data; family members, friends, doctors etc.
So I took it upon myself to use HealthVault, and a few devices to track my body data throughout the week. This is how day one went.
First of all, I needed to get my devices sorted. I want to use HealthVault to track my fitness levels – as a twenty something I should be in good condition, but I have a fear that I’m not really at my peak. So a pedometer to track steps and running, blood pressure monitor to see how exercise affects me and scales to monitor my weight, all seem apt. There are the devices I chose:
All of these devices sync with HealthVault, which was a major factor in using them, but they are also well regarded, after reading a few reviews on the internet, it’s clear Omron devices are very accurate and Withings are winning at the weight scales game.
Setting up was quite simple, the standard process for each device went along the lines of; unbox, insert batteries, set date and time, input body data (date of birth, height, weight) and begin using!
HealthVault was much the same, I simply signed up via the website, entered a few details (no batteries required!) and downloaded the Connection Centre to enable syncing between the devices. While there are plenty more option to choose from – for example I could enter allergies, medication I take, medical history, sharing information etc. – I chose to leave this for another day. I was now ready to get started with the devices, and all in just a few minutes. I’m looking forward to how the rest of the week goes.
by David Clare
Microsoft UK Health Team