Technical overview: connectivity

An application can access a health record in several ways.

Web authorization

This model is designed for user-facing websites. The website can redirect a person to HealthVault to create an account or sign into an account. The user then authorizes the web application and is redirected back to the website. The website is passed sufficient information to subsequently access the health record of the person.

  1. The web application redirects the user to HealthVault
  2. The user authorizes the application
  3. HealthVault redirects the user back to the application
  4. The application stores the information sent back
  5. The application connects to the health record

See web connectivity.

Patient Connect

This model provides a way to perform offline authorizations. The application creates a "connection request" with an arbitrary secret question/answer. The patient goes to HealthVault to respond to the connection request with the correct secret answer. In the meantime the application polls the HealthVault service at regular intervals to check for new authorizations.

  1. The provider collects an answer to a secret question.
  2. The provider creates a connection request and gives the user a pickup code.
  3. The user visits the HealthVault website.
  4. The user enters the pickup code and authorizes the application.
  5. The application learns about the authorization through polling.

See Patient Connect.


This model is designed for native software running on tablets, phones and other mobile devices. The client application communicates with HealthVault directly.

  1. The user installs a mobile application.
  2. The application detects the lack of authorization.
  3. The application opens an embedded browser and redirects to the authorization page.
  4. The user authorizes the application.
  5. The application detects and saves the authorization information.

See Mobile development

Putting it together

HealthVault supports multiple connection methods for different types of application scenarios.

Next, learn about reading and writing data.

Technical overview