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VA program uses iPads to coordinate care among physicians, patients and caregivers

A new pilot project launched by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs aims to test the benefits of using mobile technology to help physicians, patients and caregivers coordinate care.

Through the Clinic-in-Hand program, 1,000 family caregivers of veterans will be provided with iPads equipped with VA-developed apps. American Medical News reports today:

Josephine Schuda, spokeswoman for the VA, said the iPads and their loaded apps are “designed to increase the convenience of health care management and strengthen communication among veterans, family caregivers and clinicians.” The technology will include secure, two-way exchange of health data among all three parties as well as health care management tools to facilitate administrative needs and patient education.

Schuda said subsequent programs will pilot other devices and operating systems.

Apps developed as part of the pilot program, as well as additional apps that are not part of it, will be made available at the VA’s app store for download on any smartphone or tablet.

Apps also will be developed and launched during a phase of the program that will give physicians mobile access to some of the same functions available to them on the VA’s electronic health record system. Schuda said that although non-VA physicians will not be a part of the mobile health program, veterans can share their information with any physician from their mobile devices regardless of affiliation.

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