VA Mobile Health FAQs

 

What is VA Mobile and who can use VA’s mobile apps?

VA Mobile develops technologies to expand care for Veterans beyond the traditional office visit. A series of secure apps use mobile technologies to help improve Veteran health care, expand access and increase communications between VA care teams and their patients.

Apps are designed for Veterans and VA care teams. Some apps require Veterans to log in using a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account to help ensure privacy and security. For more information about DS Logon, visit mobile.va.gov/dslogon. Apps for VA care teams that access a patient’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) are available only through VA’s secure network.

How can we be sure VA mobile apps are secure and Veterans’ personal health information is kept confidential?

VA personal health data is encrypted during transmission. Apps that connect to VA’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) require secured user authentication. The apps do not automatically store personal health information on the mobile device or computer. Apps allowing access to a Veteran’s EHR require DoD/VA authentication. This is known as a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) account or an eBenefits Premium Account. Veterans can find more information about getting their DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account at mobile.va.gov/dslogon.

Some apps track information provided by the Veteran. Other apps include educational health care information only. Apps for VA care teams are only available through VA’s secure network. Other security controls help ensure protection meets strict federal standards of security and privacy.

To view individual app information, visit the VA App Store at mobile.va.gov/appstore.

Why do Veterans need a DS Logon to use the mobile apps instead of using a My HealtheVet logon?

DS Logon is a strong and secure logon ID that is maintained throughout multiple DoD and VA systems. My HealtheVet credentials are unique to the My HealtheVet site. As a security measure, Veterans need a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account before they can log into any VA app that connects to VA’s Electronic Health Record (EHR). Even if you have a My HealtheVet Premium Account, you will still need to register for a DS Logon Level 2 Account to access VA’s secure apps.

There are currently two types of DS Logon accounts.

  • DS Logon Level 1 (Basic) Account: provides limited access to features on some websites.
  • DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account: required before users can view personal data in VA and DoD systems, including VA’s mobile apps.

If you do not have a DS Logon Level 2 Account, or you are not sure, visit mobile.va.gov/dslogon or contact the eBenefits helpline at 1-800-983-0937 for more information.

What format are the apps available in, and what is currently available?

Some VA apps are native apps. However, many apps were developed using HTML5 for use with an internet browser. Apps displaying your personal health information are built as web apps to ensure they reach the largest number of platforms, devices and users possible.

Web apps are built like websites and can be accessed on any mobile device or computer with an internet connection. No download is required for web apps. None of your VA medical information is stored on your device unless you create a file of your medical record and save it to your device or computer. For information on how to save a VA web app to your home screen, visit mobile.va.gov/saving-va-mobile-app-home-screen.

Native apps are built specifically for iOS, Android or other systems and can be downloaded directly onto your mobile device.

To find newly released apps and preview some in development, visit mobile.va.gov/appstore.

Where can users request technical support for VA mobile apps?

Veterans may obtain app support from the VA Mobile Health Help Desk at 1-877-470-5947, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT. For TTY assistance, dial 711.

VA care team members may obtain app support from the VA Mobile Health Help Desk at 1-844-482-6624, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT. For TTY assistance, dial 711.

Training materials, user manuals and quick start guides are available at mobile.va.gov/appstore.

In addition, VA formed a team to provide new app creation governance and has an intake process to help internal VA staff request app development assistance. For more information, visit Developing VA apps.

Is VA developing a My HealtheVet app? How are VA Mobile apps different from My HealtheVet?

VA is not developing a My HealtheVet app at this time. However, much of the functionality available through My HealtheVet will also be available through VA mobile apps, such as Secure Messaging and Rx Refill. VA Mobile apps provide options for Veterans for refilling prescriptions, sending messages to their VA care teams and conveniently accessing information in their VA medical records.

VA’s goal is to give Veterans access to their information and ways to communicate with their care teams using their preferred tools. My HealtheVet works best from a web browser on a computer for accessing VA services. Apps are best for use on smartphones or tablets. Though the apps are accessible through a computer, they are intended for use through a mobile device.

The same security measures used to protect other Veteran data are applied to protect information available through apps. There may be a delay of 24 hours or less between data available in My HealtheVet and data available in the apps.

How does VA evaluate apps?

Apps released to the public have gone through extensive testing and evaluation by Veterans and VA care teams to improve apps before they are available.

VA uses an agile development process for many of its apps. Before field testing, there are various development periods, reviews and compliance testing across different environments. Apps are tested in the field only after software quality assurance, verification, validation and user acceptance testing is completed. Modifications are performed based on field test results and then apps are made available.

VA collects feedback continuously to identify opportunities for future improvements. Feedback for available apps can be shared through the VA App Store: mobile.va.gov/appstore.

How do I save a VA mobile app to my home screen?

To view instructions on how to save a VA mobile app to your home screen, visit mobile.va.gov/saving-va-mobile-app-home-screen/.

How does the version of my web browser affect my apps? How do I check and update it?

To make sure apps work correctly, your device’s web browser should be current. Usually, your device will update your web browser automatically. However, if you are experiencing issues with an app, check or update the version of your browser by looking at your device’s settings or the about section.

I’m an app developer – can I work on or beta test VA apps?

Currently, VA’s development environment is only available to VA workforce developers and contracted team members. VA anticipates making portions of the environment available to the Open Source community in the future. For more information, visit: https://mobile.va.gov/content/developing-va-apps.

VA employees, VA clinicians and VA-employed Veterans can beta test apps using the VA Beta App Store. The Beta App Store has helped test various VA apps from a pool of registered app testers. Insights from app tester feedback offer a look into performance so development teams can make adjustments or create solutions before the apps are released widely. If you’re a VA employee and would like to test apps before they’re released, fill out the registration form here: https://mobile.va.gov/appstore/beta-apps-tester.