VA launches two mHealth pilot programs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has officially launched mHealth pilot projects to test the technology prior to national release and to "ensure that the veteran experience is optimized," according to an announcement from the VA.

The two pilots are the Family Caregiver Pilot and the Veteran Appointment Request Web App Pilot. For the Family Caregiver Pilot, VA has begun to distribute iPads to more than 1,000 caregivers of seriously injured post-9/11 veterans enrolled in the VA's Family Caregiver Program. The iPads feature a suite of apps that allow veterans and caregivers to access and share information about their health conditions and treatment options. The apps also include information about lifestyle tips and the ability to monitor their own health, states the announcement.

The Veteran Appointment Request Web App Pilot will provide more than 600 Veterans with the ability to request primary care and mental health care appointments using mobile devices or desktop computers. The pilot was recently launched at the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center and VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

"VA continues to transform health care delivery and positively impact the lives of veterans and their caregivers," said Kathleen Frisbee, Co-Director of the Veterans Health Administration's Connected Health Office, in a written statement. "These tools increase access to health care and further demonstrate VA's commitment to improving the veteran and caregiver experience." 

In May, FierceMobileHealthcare interviewed Frisbee and Neil Evans, M.D., who co-direct the VHA's Connected Health Office. "When we develop applications, we, of course, always pilot them before we launch them nationally," Evans told FMH. "We want to make sure that the apps work and there are no patient safety issues before we release them to the field."

To learn more:
- read the announcement