There are many fitness tracking apps for smartphones that are able to monitor running, walking, cycling and other activities and we are spoilt for choice. Moves is an interesting one because it works automatically and you don’t need to manually start it and stop it. It just works. Link it to HealthVault and it becomes even more useful.

HealthVault (healthvault.com) is a Microsoft-run online service that stores health and activity information securely online. You can keep all sorts of health information in it, such as medications, immunisations, medical conditions, medications, insurance plans, allergies, and so on.

It is more than a database though and it can track various measurements, such as your weight, food and drink, blood pressure, activity and much more. There is a lot in HealthVault, but what I want to focus on here is exercise tracking.

When Moves is installed on your Android phone or iPhone, it automatically tracks your movement. It can tell when you are walking, cycling or travelling by car or other transport (presumably by monitoring your speed). It records each activity each day.

Go to the menu button and select Connected Apps. It can work with other services and send your activity to them each day.

Moves . Moves for Android

Among the connected apps is Microsoft HealthVault. Actually, the apps aren’t connected yet and these are services you can connected to if you choose to.

Moves . Moves app

Before you can connect to Microsoft HealthVault, you need to start a web browser and go to the HealthVault website (healthvault.com). Sign in with your Microsoft ID (Outlook.com, Xbox Live login details and so on) and the HealthVault is created for you. While you are there, you might want to add a few details like your name, age and other basic details. You don’t need much to get started.

Microsoft HealthVault

Once your account is set up, go to Apps & Devices on the left. Open the App & Device Directory and find and click Moves. There is a Connect button and clicking this displays a PIN that you enter into your Phone in Moves. See the fourth Moves screen shot – it says Enter PIN in the top right corner of the screen.

This links Moves with the website and enables it to send your activity data. Once this connection has been set up, everything is then automatic. Moves monitors your walking, cycling and running, and uploads the data. HealthVault automatically stores it.

HealthVault information can be viewed by going to the website. The home page has tiles that show Exercise and other information. Actually, there are two tiles and one shows the minutes exercised and the distance travelled, and the other shows steps. This is GPS data from Moves on the phone, so it should be pretty accurate.

HealthVault

A better way to view the information is by using the HealthVault Start screen app for Windows 8. It is in the Microsoft Store and it is free. Download it and sign in to your HealthVault account. You can then view charts and lists of activities, and view data by day, week and month.

Activity tracking is just a small part of HealthVault, but it is a useful one and it is nice the way that it works automatically with Moves.