The Veterans Affairs Department (VA) expects to equip 1,000 family caregivers with Apple iPads loaded with health apps to help these primary caregivers to better take care of veterans at home, according to a NextGov report. The initiative is part of a pilot that is also testing distribution through a VA app store that is set to launch early next year, according to the publication. A VA spokesperson told NextGov that the pilot, called Clinic-in-Hand, includes health apps that allow for the exchange of personal health data between the VA, veterans, and their caregivers.
Washington, DC-based and disabled veteran owned business District Communications Group, secured the Clinic-in-Hand contract for the mobile health project last month. The company is also helping the VA develop the mobile version of its EHR app, which we reported on last week.
“The EHR app is really powerful. It is reported to be a significant time saver, and I would use the phrase morale improver, but primarily it makes it clear that we’re using the latest technology at the VA again and not just older technology,” the VA’s CIO Roger Baker said in a teleconference with reporters last week.
The pilot is open to primary caregivers enrolled in VA’s Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers program, but participants will be randomly selected from those eligible some time this summer. The apps developed and fine tuned during the program will eventually be available to all veterans via the planned VA app store when it launches next year.