Resources for Code-Fest Innovators - Phil Pennington, Microsoft HealthVault

A number of HealthCare technology code-fest events are underway. This coming weekend, we'll be participating in the "Hacking Health" code-fest in Vancouver, BC. We're also planning to join the " Cajun Code-Fest" in Lafayette, LA, in April. HealthVault, has a lot to offer as a platform for innovative healthcare technology solutions. If you are planning to attend any of these events, please note the following resources. This short-list should help kick-start your thinking. We're looking forward to the code-fests and participating in white-board discussions around how HealthVault may fit into your solution architecture.

In the USA, initiatives such as Meaningful Use and the Automated Blue Button Initiative are driving innovation in healthcare information systems technology. A key objective is the simple and secure exchange of healthcare information between providers and patients. The Direct Project has produced a reference implementation for trust-based encrypted message exchange that is quickly becoming a standard. HealthVault users receive a free Direct Address and may utilize theHealthVault Message Center to participate in secure Direct communications.

Online services are also generating a great deal of innovative thinking. The ability to compose a solution utilizing a number of online services not only increases the speed of implementation but also the richness of end-user experiences. For example, clinical systems are really just customized Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. Why not compose these systems utilizing Dynamics CRM Online and HealthVault ? Throw in Office365, Skype or Lync, and Windows Azure hosted services and you have a very powerful platform for quickly automating healthcare businesses.

Getting Started

Noteworthy Samples

  • Sean's HealthVault Toys - Sean Nolan leads the HealthVault team and regularly contributes invaluable insights via the Family Health Guy blog. He has recently posted a few interactive samples using an Azure WebSite. Experiment with these to gain familiarity with various HealthVault Application models.
  • The HealthVault SDK Samples - When you download and install the HealthVault .NET SDK, you will find several samples hidden within the installation folder.
  • Codeplex Projects, Java, MVC, and Win8 SDKs - Several "sample" projects hosted on also include class libraries that are sneaking-out the door as SDKs in their own right. You can re-use these class libraries as reference assemblies (you get the source too) within your applications. The Java library provides a thin abstraction layer over the raw XML over HTTP HealthVault Platform API and is a good way to build system-independent solutions. The Win8 library enables development of Windows Store HealthVault applications.
  • Oldies but Goodies - Eric wrote a number of how-to type topical articles several years ago. They remain very relevant resources.

And, of course, contact us if you have a great idea for a HealthVault Application and need a bit of technical assistance getting it going!


CajunCodeFest 2.0 in Silicon Bayou - Coding Competition Aims to Transform Data into Health Care Solutions

CajunCodeFest 2.0 in Silicon Bayou

Coding Competition Aims to Transform Data into Health Care Solutions

(Lafayette, La.) — For eight days in April, Lafayette, LA will host INNOV8, an annual festival of innovation and creativity showcasing talented thinkers and entrepreneurs who make the region a unique place to live and work. From April 24 at 6:00 p.m. until April 26 at 7:00 p.m., CajunCodeFest will return as a major component of the festival.

Health care solutions, economic development aim of CajunCodeFest 2.0

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's CajunCodeFest 2.0 will be highlighted by a 27-hour coding competition for developing new health care technology. Speakers in healthcare and technology, an economic development roundtable discussion and social events, including a crawfish boil, will also be part of the second-year event, from April 24-26 at the Cajundome.

Second Annual CajunCodeFest!

Health 2.0 has announced their second annual CajunCodeFest! All information below.

What: The 2nd annual CajunCodeFest 2.0 is a FREE 2.5 day coding competition focusing on transforming “data” into health care solutions, specifically focusing on tools to encourage and support patients to “Own Your Own health”. This exciting coding marathon will bring together innovative thinkers and problem solvers of all types: developers, designers, entrepreneurs, health care professionals, educators, and students. Participants will organize themselves into teams or be matched up before the competition in teams to build exciting new prototypes and tools for improved health care over a 27-hour period.

It’s Just About Time for CajunCodeFest Round Two


Betty Tanory and Robert Tanory (left of Cookie Monster) with their team at last year’s CajunCodeFest

Looking for an excuse to get away with your wife for a few days? Just sign the two of you up for a marathon coding event. That’s what Bobby Tanory did when he entered himself and his wife Betty into the CajunCodeFest competition in Lafayette, Louisiana last year. There they formed a team with seven others and competed with more than 100 contestants to come up with an application aimed at fighting childhood obesity.

“I immediately signed up after I looked at the CajunCodeFest website and read that they were doing a free crawfish boil. If you live in south Louisiana, you just can’t pass up a free crawfish boil,” Tanory said.

CajunCodeFest 2013: A Cajun-flavored Code-a-thon To Accelerate Health Innovation in the Silicon Bayou

LAFAYETTE, La., March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The CajunCodeFest is back this year for another technology celebration offering coding, crawfish, and cash prizes, running April 24 – 26 at the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA. Over the course of two days, attendees will face off in a 27-hour competition focused on transforming data into innovative health care solutions. The grand prize includes $25,000, and a spot on stage at the invitation-only National Health Datapalooza held in Washington, DC on June 3 - 4.

At CajunCodeFest 2013, developers, designers, researchers, physicians, and business leaders, will team up and use robust health data to build applications that encourage and enable patients to "Own Your Own Health." Ultimately, these applications will facilitate more informed health care decisions and better health for individual and communities.

This year, the event boasts an impressive line-up of speakers who will inspire participants to create solutions that will make an impact in health care. These speakers include Dr. Farzad Mostashari (National Coordinator for HIT, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS)), Bryan Sivak (Chief Technology Officer, HHS), and Kathy Kliebert (Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals). The event will feature Platinum sponsors Intel, Lafayette General Medical Center, Microsoft, and The Office of the National Coordinator.

At last year's inaugural event, Todd Park, US Chief Technology Officer, and guest speaker, tweeted, "Silicon Bayou - aka Lafayette, Louisiana - is the best kept secret reservoir of innovation mojo in America." The event was indeed a huge success, bringing together 275 people in attendance including 115 code-a-thon participants from three countries, 15 states, and 40 different cities.

In a recent Health 2.0 News article, Laura Montini interviewed last year's CajunCodeFest winning team - Betty and Bobby Tanory. When asked about their experience at last year's event, Mr. Tanory responded:

"Something crazy happens when you get people from the tech industry, government, insurance agencies, teachers and doctors in the same room. It's almost impossible to not create something new out of that mix."

For more information or CajunCodeFest inquiries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Sign up now to participate -
Registration for the event is open to the public.

Health 2.0: The conference. The media network. The innovation community. The Health 2.0 Conference is the leading showcase of cutting-edge innovation transforming the health care system and is the premiere platform connecting IT innovators to established health care providers. Health 2.0 covers the broadest spectrum of the technology revolution that is shaking up every sector of health care. Learn more at


The  annual CajunCodeFest Summit and Challenge, hosted by the Center for Business & Information Technologies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is April 13 & 14, 2018. The  events focus on on a new healthcare theme each year. The summit is open to the public and the challenge is open to all students and professionals with an innovative spirit. Teams use data to build apps and tools addressing the opioid epidemic to win cash, prizes and bragging rights. 

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