VA plans to launch health app store
- The Veterans Affairs Department has set plans to kick off the first two of several mHealth apps designed to give vets easier and quicker access to healthcare data.
- The apps, Summary of Care and Blue Button, both provide access to EHR data, but Blue Button lets users create a PDF file to share data with providers outside the VA.
- The two apps will be the first to be housed in the VA's upcoming app store, a $9.3-million project due to be completed this fall. The app store will support apps across several platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry.
According to VA leaders, the agency's apps strategy is playing off its population's growing use of smart phones and mobile devices to track and monitor health and fitness efforts. They estimate that 25% of diabetic patients in the system are using mHealth blood-testing apps for tracking sugar levels. VA project managers hope that its users are equally interested in other apps that will help them improve their health.
That being said, it's still not clear whether most people will shop in the VA's new app store. A recent FICO survey revealed that four out of five smartphone users globally are interested in mHealth tech that will help them interact with providers, 76% want to use tools for appointment reminders and 69% would use them for med reminders. But mHealth is still far from mainstream adoption, according to Karen Taylor, research director for Deloitte's U.K. Center for Health Solutions.
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