Questions and need some advice regarding online/offline access from PHR application RRS feed

  • Question

  • I currently have a PHR (Personal Health Record) web application that is used by cancer survivors and primarily contains information related specifically to cancer treatment.

    I would like to integrate my application with HealthVault, probably with "read-only" access, to enable users to view their HealthVault-resident information through my application (creating a more comprehensive view of their health information).  I'm trying to determine the best design for this, so I have a few questions:

    1. If I use "online" mode, patients will have to authenticate to my application, AND to HealthVault... is that correct?

    2. If I use "offline" mode, my application can download updates from HealthVault at regular intervals without the patient being logged in to either my application or HealthVault... is this correct?

    3. Can I used "offline" mode for the backend, even while the patient is currently logged on and using my application (so it is transparent to them)?

    4. (sort of related to #3) In "offline" mode, am I able to access the patient data via HealthVault on-demand, or is it best to download the data (say, nightly) and access it from my own database when needed?  For example, if the patient is logged into my application and would like to view lab results data that is resident in HealthVault, can I immediately connect to HealthVault in "offline" mode and get the lab results, or would it be best if this data was already in my database and I accessed it locally?

    I appreciate the help, thanks.


    Monday, May 16, 2011 1:49 PM


  • Hi,

    Please find the answers to your questions given below:

    1. Yes. When using the online mode, users would definitely have to login to HealthVault. You can either choose to have your own authentication system in addition to this, or to accept this authentication as an application authentication. Please see the "Is the User Authenticated?" section, here.

    2. Yes. In offline mode, once the user has authorized the application to access a health record, the application records the user’s ID and is then allowed to access that user’s data at any time. The access is then initiated by the application without user involvement.

    3. Yes. Even when the user is logged in to your application, you can use offline access to access the user's HealthVault data, without requiring the user to sign in to HealthVault.

    4. In offline mode, you will be able to access the patient data at any time without user involvement. You can also duplicate the data stored in HealthVault in your own database. However, please note that storing data outside HealthVault places higher demands on both the architecture of your application and your operations team. Please see the "Where Is the Data Stored?" section, here.

    For a complete understanding of the HealthVault Application Architecture and Data Storage, please see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/healthvault/cc296309.

    Thanks, Piyali.

    • Proposed as answer by Piyali Sen Tuesday, May 17, 2011 12:58 PM
    • Marked as answer by Eric Gunnerson Tuesday, May 17, 2011 4:42 PM
    Tuesday, May 17, 2011 12:58 PM