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The VA embraces technology to better care for veterans

The VA embraces technology to better care for veterans
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Mobile healthcare is one of the hottest topics in the news right now, especially since the unveiling of Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and iOS 8. With its newest gadgets, Apple is hoping to integrate all sorts of features through its Health app that will let you do everything from track exercise to store your healthcare documents.

Apple's Healthbook app is still a work in progress, but you can be sure that they and other tech companies are trying to come up with ways to integrate all of your healthcare information into your gadgets. This brings up some serious privacy concerns, but if these companies can pull this off, your healthcare might never be the same.

Imagine going to see a new doctor and being able to share your entire medical history with them using nothing but your smartphone. That'd make it really easy to pass information between your primary doctor, specialists, hospitals and even your insurance provider.

While all of the usual players are working on this technology, we could soon see new healthcare apps from an unlikely source: the government. That's right, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, is hard at work developing healthcare apps to improve care for our country's veterans.

VA healthcare apps

The VA apps will be called Summary of Care and Blue Button. They'll give patients easy access to electronic healthcare information right on their smartphones. The Blue Button app will also let vets create a PDF to share with all of their doctors.

But, these apps are only the beginning. The VA is actually developing a much larger mobile project to bring veterans' healthcare into the 21st century.

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.

The VA is responding to the veteran population, which is using technology more and more to stay on top of their healthcare. VA estimates show that 25% of vets with diabetes already use blood sugar tracking apps. It would be a logical step to allow those apps to connect with the VA's systems. Hopefully, the VA has a good team developing this technology - we don't want another healthcare.gov debacle!

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