VA MOBILE HEALTH
Coming soon to a mobile device near you
July 29, 2013
It seems like just about everything has gone
mobile. You can change the TV channel, buy a cup of coffee or get a game score
alert for your favorite sports team, all from the convenience of your phone or
tablet. Today, innovative mobile technologies are helping improve the health
and care of our nation’s Veterans.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) aims
to revolutionize health care for Veterans, Caregivers and VA care teams through
its new VA Mobile Health strategy. VA Mobile Health will expand care for
Veterans beyond traditional office visits. It will enhance medical care through
convenient access to information for both patients and providers, increase communications
between patients and care teams and empower Veterans to be active participants
in their health and health care.
In May 2013, VA began providing a series of
secure Applications (Apps) to Veterans and Caregivers as part of an initial
pilot testing phase. The pilots are designed to ensure maximum functionality
once the Apps are released to the greater Veteran community.
One of the programs – the Family Caregiver
Pilot – provides loaner iPads to nearly 1,000 Caregivers already enrolled in
VA’s Family Caregiver Program for seriously injured post-9/11 Veterans. The
iPads come loaded with nine Apps created to help Caregivers and the Veterans
they assist. The 12-month pilot features technology that allows Veterans and
Caregivers secure access to health care information, the ability to track
personal health-related information, and functionality to share this personal
health information with their VA health care teams.
The Veteran Appointment Request Web App is another
recently launched pilot. It provides more than 600 Veterans at the Washington,
D.C. VA Medical Center and Palo Alto, CA VA Health Care System with the
opportunity to request primary care and mental health appointments from their
mobile devices or desktop. The App also provides Veterans the ability to select
three different dates/times for appointments, choose their providers and
request in-person, telephone or video conference appointments.
More Apps benefiting Veterans and Caregivers
will be tested in future pilot programs. VA will conduct research studies of
the pilots to determine the impact of the Apps on Veterans and their
Caregivers, as well as how the Apps are used. This research will then inform
next steps in VA’s roll out of Apps to all Veterans and Caregivers nationwide. For
more information about the VA Mobile Health initiative, visit mobilehealth.va.gov.
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