Monday, January 24, 2011

HealthCorrelator for Excel (HCE) is now publicly available for free trial

HealthCorrelator for Excel (HCE) is now publicly available for download and use on a free trial basis. For those users who decide to buy it after trying, licenses are available for individuals and organizations. If you are a gym member, consider asking your gym to buy an organizational site license; this would allow the gym to distribute individual licenses at no cost to you and your colleagues.

HCE is a user-friendly Excel-based software that unveils important associations among health variables at the click of a button. Here are some of its main features:

- Easy to use yet powerful health management software.

- Estimates associations among any number of health variables.

- Automatically orders associations by decreasing absolute strength.

- Graphs relationships between pairs of health variables, for all possible combinations.

The beta testing was successfully completed, with fairly positive results. (Thank you beta testers!) Among beta testers were Mac users. The main request from beta testers was for more illustrative material on how to use HCE for specific purposes, such as losing body fat or managing blood glucose levels. This will be coming in the future in the form of posts and linked material.

To download a free trial version, good for 30 use sessions (which is quite a lot!), please visit the web site. There you will also find the software’s User Manual and various links to demo YouTube videos. You can also download sample datasets to try the software’s main features.


Anonymoose said...

To use this, would you need to first have a comprehensive blood work analysis done?

Typically, doctors only ask for lab tests for a particular points of interest...

is there anywhere you recommend to go direct and get the data for best use of this software?

Finn said...

Sounds fine! Does this work on Open Office?

Anne said...

Well the Mac users who were among the Beta testers can't have been able to make many suggestions that were acted on ! I'm a Mac user and I have Office for Mac but this program is a very unintuitive program indeed !

Anne said...

PS: Sorry Ned - I see you wrote the manual. Were you involved with the making of this program ?

Ned Kock said...

Hi Anonymoose. You don’t actually need blood tests to use the software. You can use it with measures that you collect independently; to see which variables are the most important causes of a particular variable, and how they vary together.

For example, the variables may be waist circumference, intake of carbs, protein, fat (the macronutrients), endurance exercise, resistance exercise, etc. You can always measure a particular variable on a Likert-type scale (e.g., from 1 to 7), as in the exercise variables. By collecting these measures every day over several weeks you will be able to tell which of these variables affects waist circumference the most, and also the shape of the curve.

Ned Kock said...

Hi Finn. I doubt it will work on Open Office. The macro implementation is different from Microsoft Office.

Ned Kock said...

Hi Anne. I developed it, and would be happy to continue taking suggestions to improve the software. All software development involves tradeoffs, which depend on the development platform you use. For example, in this case I used Excel as a development platform, so I had to work with what was available to generate the interface. Having said that, once you enter the data into the software, the output is generated at the click of a button.

Ned Kock said...
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Ned Kock said...

By the way, I mentioned that there are Mac users to suggest that HCE runs on Macs, as long as Excel is installed first.

Ned Kock said...

Another thing that I wanted to mention about HCE is that it can be used to build a “numeric diary”, where you enter numbers for various variables you create to gauge your perceptions – e.g., how happy, energetic, depressed you are etc.. You can also enter data about what you eat, exercise patterns, stress sources etc.

A text diary is great, but is difficult to analyze, and takes a long time to write. A “numeric diary” can be updated every day in a few minutes.

There is virtually no limit to the number of columns with data you can include in HCE. Each column of data represents a variable. And if you want to add a new column after you already entered some data, no problem, as HCE accepts columns with missing data. The missing cells are not used in the calculation of coefficients of association.

If you do this, over time you are going to start becoming aware of some associations that you would never have guessed. You brain is not designed to find associations between multiple variables; the computer can do that easily.

Anne said...

Hi Ned,

I use OmniGraphSketcher and it says you can import Excel data via copy and paste. When I do that with some of the sample data it comes back with a graph of sorts....I will work on it and let you know.

I love OmniGraphSketcher - it is one of my favourite programs - I only wish I had more uses for it.

Anne said...

....of course the macro doesn't work on OmniGraphSketcher so I have to enter the data separately for the different columns. It's given me some ideas and my husband is working on it now !

Ned Kock said...

You should be able to copy and paste between applications.

OmniGraphSketcher is a great tool, but it is a graphing tool. To the best of my knowledge, it doesn't calculate ordered coefficients of association like HCE does.

Those ordered coefficients of association are the type of thing that one absolutely needs to identify and prioritize cause-effect relationships.

Dan M. said...

@Anonymoose: See
Not the best.. it's pricey ($300), and doesn't include Non-esterified fatty acids (NERA) - the real diabetes marker, but its the only test site I know of.

@Finn: Try LibreOffice, much better than Sun's "Open" Office

@Ned: Does the program give recommendations for exercise training? I'm looking to do High-Intensity-Training

Ned Kock said...

Hi Dan. HCE allows you to identify main causes of effects in an exercise program. Both causes and effects are measured through variables. For example, let us say that one of your variables measures amount of HIIT, others measure amounts of various other exercises, and one measures performance on a particular sport. This is a simplification; you’d probably have multiple measures per exercise to account for intensity, total load etc.

Through HCE you can find out whether HIIT is having a significant impact on performance, and how that impact stacks up against that of other variables. You can also see the shape of the relationship between HIIT and performance.

The YouTube video below shows, in a few minutes, how HCE works:

David Isaak said...

As one of the betas, I can testify that 30 uses is indeed quite a lot--certainly enough to see whether the program is useful.

Anonymoose--you can use this to track the correlations between anything and anything else. In my case, I wish I'd had more blood work data. I'm at the end of a period of major weight-loss, and I kept careful data on weight, activity levels, and blood pressure; but the correlations between those are understood and seldom surprising. On the other hand, I think that steady blood work (say once a month or at least every other month) would have been informative.

4rx said...

It is quite impressive the things that you can do with a excel spreadsheet. I think that it is great that they did that because everybody have office in their computer.