By Jonathan Kaupanger
“There’s an app for that.”
You probably have heard that line once or twice before. But when you are talking about burn pit registry or a PTSD coach did you know there are apps for that too? And they are located at the VA’s own App Store.
The App Store is part of VA Mobile Health department and shows how the Agency is trying to transform the way care is delivered to veterans. VA understands that mobile health is developing as an important part of health care.Providing the most up to date technology also enhances the patients’ experience. “I’m a physician,” Dr. Poonam Alaigh, acting Undersecretary for Health, explains. ”And there will be a time when a patient comes to me and I’m not going to give them just a prescription for medications, but a prescription for apps as well. Because those apps will help with managing chronic disease with self-management and this is an example of what’s happening.
There are two basic sections to VA’s app store: apps for Veterans and apps for Health Care Professionals. You’ll notice that some of the apps have a little padlock icon on them. This means you need to have a DS Logon Level 2 Account because the app is connected to VA’s Electronic Health Record. DS Logon accounts are available for servicemembers, veterans, and caregivers too.
Patient security is taken into consideration with these apps too. When accessed, VA personal health data is encrypted while in transmission. In addition to the DS Logon, these apps do not automatically store personal health information on your cell phone or computer. Some apps track information provided by the Veteran. Other apps include educational health care information only. Apps for VA care teams are only available through VA’s secure network. Other security controls help ensure protection meets strict federal standards of security and privacy.
Most of the apps come with quick start guides and user manuals. The VA has also produced videos, for the visual learner, that goes along with each app.