VA to test new mobile EHR application

Four new health IT projects, including an electronic medical record that works with mobile devices, have been awarded contracts by the Department of Veterans Affairs in its third and latest Innovation Initiative (VAi2) competition. They represent the first of nearly two-dozen more awards to be made in the coming months, according to an announcement by the VA.

One of the awards was made to Agilex Technologies of Chantilly, Va., to fund a pilot project at the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center to explore how to extend elements of VA's EMRs to mobile electronic devices.

The pilot will allow patient search, demographics, laboratory data, medications, allergies, appointments, and problem lists to be displayed "on a much more portable product," says Jonah Czerwinski, the senior advisor to the VA Secretary and director of the VA Innovation Initiative, in his blog.

Agilex also will integrate clinic schedules and secure messaging onto the device, he said. In the long run, the mobile EMR application is expected to drive "down the need to rely on COWs--Computers On Wheels--[that staff] currently share and push around the hospital," he said.

The other innovations include: a project to wirelessly review, share, and respond to cardiologic data on portable devices; a pilot for using wearable sensors that track and analyze biometric data to predict health problems before they occur; and a pilot to test software to assist in the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

For more details:
- see the VA announcement
- review Jonah Czerwinski's blog comments