How the Army is keeping vets healthy through access to data

One key to keeping veterans healthy is putting them in control of their own health data, and the Army is doing that through the Performance Triad.

The approach centers around three goals--nutrition, exercise and sleep. There's a mobile tool for every soldier to help them track their fitness and training, according to an Army Times article. A test of the system is underway and involves 20,000 soldiers.

The success of the program is in part fueled by health literacy, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, Army Surgeon General, told the Times.

"It is knowing your personal health data and then it is teaching you the synergistic effects of activity, sleep, and nutrition," she said.

She adds that there are shifts in Army medicine coming down the pipeline, many of which will include health IT. Some of the changes will center on health monitoring tools, including apps, as well as biometric tools.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs currently is testing two mobile apps aimed at helping patients gain deeper healthcare data insight through integration with the agency's VistA electronic health record system, and is prepping a third for testing that promises to drive greater efficiency for providers and health staff.

In addition, mobile messaging is being used as part of medical recovery treatment, boosting rehabilitation efforts for injured military personnel and help soldiers re-integrate following service, FierceMobileHealthcare previously reported.

Telemedicine also is playing a role in care of vets, Horoho added.

"That has allowed us to actually expand our healthcare," she said. "I think it is going to revolutionize, to be perfectly honest, the way healthcare is delivered in the U.S., if we can get to laws that change credentialing and provision across state lines."

Despite some remaining barriers, telemedicine is "well positioned," particularly as patients grow increasingly comfortable with using technology and as payment models continue to shift away from a fee-for-service model, according to Partners HealthCare Vice President of Connected Health Joseph Kvedar.

To learn more:
- read the Times article