App icon- Annie App for VeteransLock Icon - DS Logon Required

Annie App for Veterans

Average: 3.4 (52 votes)
Lock Icon - DS Logon Required Apps for Veterans that display a lock icon require DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account credentials because they connect to the VA Electronic Health Record (EHR). Get a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account.

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Annie App is a Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging capability that promotes self-care for Veterans enrolled in VA health care. When your provider or a member of your VA health care team signs you up for Annie for a health issue, you will receive automated messages that prompt you to track your own health. You are asked to reply to messages so that Annie can let you know how you are doing. Annie also can send you appointment reminders and messages from your local VA medical facility.

This app is currently in field test to a limited audience.

You can use Annie if you have a basic cell phone that includes a texting feature (also known as SMS text messaging). If you have a smartphone, you can use the texting feature of the phone, or use the Annie App for Veterans. You can also use the Annie App for Veterans with a computer or mobile device connected to the Internet. Whichever way you choose, Annie can help you track your health on your own.

Annie is for self-care. Your text and message replies to Annie are kept in a computer system. Your VA health care team will be able to view the messages, but will not routinely review them. Annie is not a way to text your VA clinician. You are responsible for your own health and should contact your VA health care team directly when you have health issues. Text messaging is not secure (texts can be read by anyone with access to your phone) and has costs, depending on your plan.

Features:

  • Send and receive messages securely about your health data and readings
  • Get automated appointment reminders
  • Graph the data you have sent through Annie for easy tracking
  • Receive announcements and messages about your VA medical facility
  • Receive educational and motivational messages to help keep working toward health care goals
Known Issues: 

Not Getting Replies to Texts Messages

When you enter data and send to Annie, you should get a reply from Annie. Sometimes no reply was sent. We think this is now fixed, but if you don’t get a response to your text right after you send it, please call the Help Desk at 1-877-470-5947

Help Message

In one case, Annie responded to the text “Help” with the message "Thank you. You are not subscribed to any protocols at this time.” The response should have been:

“If you are experiencing a medical emergency call 911 immediately. For non-medical aid or to report a software bug call the VA help desk at 877-470-5947. Annie”; and “Text commands you can use are: Start = Start Annie; Stop = Stop Annie; Pause = Temporarily pause messages from Annie; Resume = Resume messages from Annie. Annie"

If this happens to you, please call the Help Desk at 1-877-470-5947.

Nonsense Texts

If you have an older cell phone, some text messages may show up with symbols and letters that don’t make sense. If this happens, please call the Help Desk at 1-877-470-5947.

Annie App Log In

When using the Annie “App” on a smart phone, you may get a message “your connection is not private” or “site identity is not verifiable” when you log in. If this happens, you must choose “trust this connection” in order to continue to the site on your phone. Remember, you can use the Annie App on your laptop or computer.

Annie Right of Access

  • To use the Annie App, you must accept both the “Right of Access” and the Annie “End User License Agreement” (Annie EULA). After you accept the Annie EULA, you are presented with the standard Right of Access web pages. If you do not accept the Right of Access, you will be taken to the VA Launchpad EULA, rather than the Annie EULA. If you want to use the Annie App, go back to the Annie App and approve the Right of Access web pages.
  • In some cases, when the Verify button for the page named Individual’s Request for a Copy of their Own Health Information is selected, the application fails. If this happens, try logging into the Annie App again, and you should be able to use it.

Navigating Annie App

Navigate using the controls inside the Annie App, and not the Back and Forward buttons of your web browser. Using browser buttons may cause problems.

App Time Out

The Annie App will time out after 15 minutes of not being used. When it times out, the app does not display a blank background. Instead, it displays the last screen you were on when it timed out. That means if you were looking at a screen that has your personal information, it will still be visible. So, please be careful to LOG OUT of the app and clear your browser when you are finished using the app.

Log Out

When you log out of the Annie App, you will be taken to the VA Launchpad where you can access other VA apps. In order to access the Annie App, use the provided URL.

Accessibility for People with Disabilities

The Annie App is not yet “Section 508 compliant” and does not work properly with Assistive Technology devices, such as a screen reader used with vision difficulty.

Appointment Reminders

Appointment reminders are not available yet.

Forward Slash “/”

Sometimes the forward slash character does not display properly in texts from Annie. As an example, 1/2 cup of coffee may show as 1?2 cup of coffee. If this happens, please call the Help Desk at 1-877-470-5947 to let us know.

Making a Bookmark

The Annie App bookmark must be exact. To bookmark the Annie App, use the exact URL that was provided (https://veteran.mobilehealth.va.gov/annie). NOTE: If you make a bookmark when the app is at the Login web page, you will have login errors.

Mobile Phone Number Error

You cannot enter a mobile phone number that is already in use by someone else. Make sure the number you enter is correct. If you try to save a phone number that is already in the system, you will get an error message that reads “if you still have a problem, contact our Help Desk at XXXX.” This message should say, “If you still have a problem, contact our Help Desk at 1-877-470-5947.” Please call if you have any problems entering your mobile phone number.

Viewing Your Message History on a Mobile Device

If you have difficulty seeing the messages to and from Annie in the Message History of the app, use your finger or mouse to scroll to the left and to the right, as well as to scroll up and down.

Broadcast Messages

Some VA facilities cannot yet send one-way “broadcast” messages, for example, “flu shots are available this week…”.

  • Annie’s Care

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Annie App is a Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging capability that promotes self-care for Veterans enrolled in VA health care. When your provider or a member of your VA health care team signs you up for Annie for a health issue, Annie sends you automated messages that prompt you to track your own health. You are asked to reply to messages so that Annie can let you know how you are doing. Annie can also send you appointment reminders and messages from your local VA medical facility. 

    Annie is for self-care. Your text and message replies to Annie are kept in a computer system. Your VA health care team will be able to view the messages, but will not routinely review them. Annie is not a way to text your VA clinician. You are responsible for your own health and should contact your VA health care team directly when you have health issues.

  • Messages

    Messages you receive and send using Annie can help you manage your health and medical conditions – offering care that is personal and convenient no matter where you live.

    Every message you receive and send is stored in Annie so that you can review them any time. To see your past messages, tap the Messages tab at the top of the screen. Messages that you sent to and received from Annie will be displayed, including dates and times.

    Text messaging is not secure (texts can be read by anyone with access to your phone) and has costs, depending on your plan.

  • Reports

    Based on the readings you’ve sent to Annie, you will be able to see charts and tables displaying your information.

  • Schedule

    Your schedule provides you with an overview of messages you will receive from Annie (such as messages that ask you to send in your health readings, educational messages, etc.) and when they will be sent.

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Annie mobile application (app) is a Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging capability that promotes self-care for Veterans enrolled in VA health care. When your provider or a member of your VA health care team signs you up for Annie for a health issue, you will receive automated messages that prompt you to track your own health. You are asked to reply to messages so that Annie can let you know how you are doing. Annie can also send you appointment reminders and messages from your local VA medical facility.

Important: Annie is for self-care. Your text and message replies to Annie are kept in a computer system. Your VA health care team will be able to view the messages but will not routinely review them. Annie is not a way to text your VA clinician. You are responsible for your own health and should contact your VA health care team directly when you have health issues. Text messaging is not secure (texts can be read by anyone with access to your phone) and has costs, depending on your plan. Talk to your cell phone service carrier if you have questions about text messaging costs.

Annie will help you track your own health and your health information by sending you messages that are just for you. You will get updates from your VA medical facility and reminders about your upcoming appointments. When you use Annie to help you track your health, you can collect readings about yourself over time, giving you a more complete picture of your health. For example, if you want to control high blood pressure, you send your readings from home so that Annie can let you know about staying on track. If you or your VA health care team wants Annie to help you with a health issue, your VA health care team will help you sign up.

Annie is modeled after a successful United Kingdom National Health Service program, known as Flo for Florence Nightingale, where it has been used since 2010.

Annie is for self-care. Your text and message replies to Annie are kept in a computer system. Your VA health care team will be able to view the messages but will not routinely review them. Annie is not a way to text your VA clinician. You are responsible for your own health and should contact your VA health care team directly when you have health issues.
To use Annie you must be enrolled in VA health care. Annie can be used with a basic cell phone that allows texting, but your information can be read by anyone who has access to your phone and texting costs may apply. Contact your cell phone provider to learn about your text messaging usage plan. If you have a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account, you can also use the Annie App for Veterans, but you will need a smartphone, computer or mobile device that connects to the Internet.
Yes. You can use Annie on your own to receive appointment reminders and facility messages from your VA care team. If you want to use Annie to help you track your health readings, talk with your VA care team.
Annie is named after Lieutenant Annie G. Fox, the first woman to receive the Purple Heart for combat. She was Chief Nurse in the Army Nurse Corps at Hickman Field, Pearl Harbor.
When you use Annie to receive or send texts on your mobile phone, the text messages are not encrypted – which means that they are not secure. Anyone who has your phone would be able to read the text messages. When you use the Annie App for Veterans, you log in to Annie using your DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account, and the messages are secure. The Annie App can be used on a smartphone, tablet, personal computer or any other device with access to the Internet.
No. Texts and messages sent to Annie do not go directly to your VA health care team or clinician. They are stored in the computer system. Your VA care team will be able to view these message replies, but may not regularly read or review your messages.
If you use text messaging on a basic cell phone or smartphone, there may be costs associated with text messages depending on your cellular plan.

When you first open the Annie App for Veterans, you will see the End User License Agreement (EULA) and Notice of Privacy Practices (Notice). Read both the EULA and Notice, and if you agree to these terms, tap Accept to proceed. Type in your DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account username and password, and tap Sign In.

If you see Request for Access to Your Health Information, read this, and when ready to continue, tap Next. You will then see VA Form 10-5345a. If you agree, tap Verify to sign the form. If you already signed the Right of Access form using another VA app, you will skip this screen.

If you are not yet registered, then you will proceed to the Patient Registration screen, tap I consent to Participate in the Program. A pop-up “Annie: VA’s SMS Text Messaging Program Information & Disclosure Factsheet” box will appear. Read the information, patient responsibilities and risks covered in the factsheet, and scroll to the bottom of the box. If you accept the patient responsibilities and risks covered in the factsheet, tap I Consent. The “I Consent to Participate in the Program” checkbox will be checked, and you will see the date and time consent was given. Tap on the three tabs, which expand the settings and options below, and edit them as needed. Tap Submit, and you will see Registration Success! You will receive a message from Annie based on your preferences. Follow Annie’s instructions and respond to the message to complete your registration. The next time you open the Annie App for Veterans you will log in with your DS Logon user name and password.

Make sure that Annie has your correct mobile phone number (see below about changing your mobile phone number). If you use your phone texting function, Annie will send you texts just as you would receive from a friend or family member. If you use the Annie App for Veterans on your smartphone, tablet or on the Internet, you will get a text notification that you have “a new message” from Annie. You will then need to log in to the Annie App for Veterans to check the message. NOTE: If you use the Annie App for Veterans, but have not chosen to get text notifications, then you need to check for new messages in the app.

You can send a message to Annie by using the Annie App for Veterans or by using your phone’s text messaging feature, which as described above is not secure. For either method, Annie will send a message that asks you to respond with a health measure. When you respond to Annie by sending your readings (such as your blood pressure measurement), you MUST START your message with a keyword or abbreviation so that Annie understands your message. Annie uses these keywords to know what kind of information you are sending. The letters can be upper or lower case. Spelling has to be EXACT. Depending on the information you send, begin your message with one of the following keywords or abbreviations (see terms in bold):

When Annie requests this information The patient must start the message response with
Blood Pressure BP or BLOOD
Pulse Oximetry (SpO2) or Oxygen level OX or OXYGEN
Blood Glucose or Sugar BG or GLUCOSE or SUGAR
Glucose Before Eating BGB or BEFORE
Glucose After Eating BGA or AFTER
Weight Loss WE or WEIGHT
Caloric Intake CAL or CALORIES
Amount of Exercise EXERCISE
Temperature TEMP
PulsePULSE

For example, if Annie asked you to send your temperature, and your reading at home is 98˚F, you would type: TEMP 98 or temp 98. If you responded with 98, without the ‘Temp’, Annie wouldn’t understand your message. If you use the Annie App for Veterans, tap Messages at the top of the screen. Type Temp 98 in the Enter Message box at the bottom. Tap Send.

Annie is used so that you can track your own health, such as monitoring blood pressure readings or weight or other health information. If you are not feeling well, or you get readings or messages from Annie that get you worried, make sure to talk to your provider or VA health care team. You are responsible for your own health, and your VA health care team is not routinely reviewing the messages and responses you send to Annie.

You can change or update your mobile phone number on your own using the Annie App for Veterans by tapping Settings on the Account tab.

If you plan to change your mobile phone number from the one you used to register with Annie, make sure to follow these steps:

  1. Text PAUSE to Annie from your old phone number. This stops all texts to that number.
  2. When step 1 is completed and you have your new phone number, contact your VA health care team so that they can update your mobile phone number in Annie. If you use the Annie App for Veterans with a smartphone (or other device that connects to the Internet), you can change your number yourself by editing your Account Information.
  3. After your phone number has been updated in Annie and you have your mobile phone with your new phone number, text the message RESUME to Annie, and service will resume.

Every message that you receive and send to Annie will be recorded, so that you can look at them at any time using the Annie App for Veterans. To see past messages, tap the Messages tab at the top of the screen. Messages that you sent to and received from Annie will be shown, including dates and times. Scroll through the messages by using the bars to the right and below the messages.

If you have sent readings for health tracking to Annie, you can see a report with your information using the Annie App for Veterans. Tap the Reports tab at the top of the screen, and choose a category of health information you would like to view. Annie will show you charts and tables of the information you have sent including the date, time and reading. You can adjust the time period using the Range Selector, Date Range, and Navigator. To go back to Reports, tap Back in the upper left corner.

NOTE: You may find problems when seeing your readings using Reports. Please review all of your readings, and do not limit the readings using the From/To Boxes or the scroll bar and buttons.

When you are signed up to track your own health using Annie, the amount and timing of messages can only been seen using the Annie App for Veterans. To see this information, tap the Schedule tab at the top of the screen. You will see a list of upcoming messages that will be sent to you by Annie, including any requests from Annie for health readings that you are tracking. For each, you can see its name or the type of information requested, when and how often messages are sent, and the date when you started getting messages from Annie.
You can stop/start and pause/resume messages with Annie at any time using simple texts or message replies.
  • Stop/Start – To stop messages from Annie, type and send the message: “STOP.” To start receiving messages again, type and send the message: “START.” NOTE: You will have to notify your VA health care team that you have begun using Annie again so that your VA health care team can re-enable your protocols or create new protocols for you.
  • Pause/Resume – To halt messages from Annie temporarily, type and send the message: “PAUSE.” To start receiving messages again, type and send the message: “RESUME.” Annie will automatically begin sending you messages again.
  • Help – To ask for assistance, type and send the message: “HELP.” Annie will respond with help desk information and a list of the available Annie commands.

NOTE: Stopping or pausing messages from Annie will not cease the sending of Appointment Reminders and VAMC Facility Messages, but you can stop these messages by changing your Appointment/Info Messages preferences under the Account tab. If you do not have access to the Annie App for Veterans, then contact your VA health care team.

DS Logon (Department of Defense Self-Service Logon) is a secure logon ID, created by the Department of Defense (DoD), that verifies the identities of individuals affiliated with DoD or VA and allows them to access secure websites and digital resources across DoD and VA using a single username and password. You will need a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account to use the Annie App for Veterans. If you do not have a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account or are not sure, visit mobile.va.gov/dslogon or dial 1-800-983-0937 for assistance.

The best way to use Annie is to partner with your VA health care team. If you have questions about using Annie or about your health readings, contact your VA health care team.

Annie is not for urgent or emergency issues. If you have an emergency, call your local medical center or dial 911. If you think that any of your health information has been seen by others due to loss or theft, contact your local VA medical facility and ask for the Privacy Officer. To locate your local VA facility, visit VA’s Facility Locator.

A User Manual, Quick Start Guide and Slideshow can be found on mobile.va.gov/training/annie-veterans. You can access these materials from the app by tapping About. A pop-up About box will appear that describes the functionality of the app. Tap the Training Materials hyperlink, and you will go to mobile.va.gov/training/annie-veterans.

If you need any help or technical assistance using the Annie App for Veterans, or to report a problem with the program, call 1-877-470-5947 to speak with a VA representative. The Help Desk is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT. For TTY assistance, dial 711.

To ask for assistance from Annie, type and send the message: “HELP.” Annie will respond with help desk information and a list of the available Annie commands.

Additional information about other available VA Apps can be found at mobile.va.gov/appstore and VA Mobile Apps General FAQs.
You may experience technical glitches with the app as its undergoing field testing. If this happens, report the issue by calling 1-877-470-5947. Your feedback will help us improve the app before it is released nationally.


Help Desk
VA Care Teams: (844) 482-6624
Veterans: (877) 470-5947
Weekdays 7 a.m.-7 p.m. (CT)

Correspondence Address
VA Mobile Health
VHA Office of Connected Care (10P8), 375AA
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420