VA Mobile Health aims to improve the health of Veterans by providing technologies that will expand care beyond the traditional office visit. As part of VA Mobile Health, VA is releasing a series of secure applications (apps) that will leverage the popularity of wireless technologies to support Veterans and VA care teams.
The apps are designed for Veterans and VA care teams. Some apps will require Veterans to log in using their DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account to ensure privacy and security. Apps for VA care teams that access a patient’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) are available only through VA’s secure network. For more information on DS Logon, visit mobile.va.gov/dslogon.
VA Mobile Health is committed to transforming the way care is delivered at VA and improving health care coordination between Veterans and their VA care teams. Apps are designed to extend VA health care beyond face-to-face visits and support Veterans through increased interaction using digital communication. VA recognizes that mobile health is emerging as an essential element of health care, and is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date technologies to enhance the patient experience.
Visit mobile.va.gov/appstore for the latest on newly released and coming soon apps.
Apps being released to the public have already gone through extensive testing and evaluation by Veterans and VA care teams. VA will continue to measure usage of all of the mobile health apps and allow for feedback regarding the apps through the VA App Store (mobile.va.gov/appstore). Prior to release of the apps, testing of the apps measured the impact of apps on Veteran health utilization. Success is based on usage of apps, satisfaction and improvement in Veteran health.
I first heard about VA Mobile Health in the summer of 2012. Why are so few apps available to use now?
The development of user-oriented and secure mobile apps requires expertise and testing across multiple layers of the Department. The apps are released after they have undergone rigorous testing. VA is committed to putting quality, security and privacy first, and releasing well-tested and well-established apps to ensure the best experience for Veterans and VA care teams.
VA releases all new apps via the VA App Store. As new apps are approved, they will be added to the VA App Store at mobile.va.gov/appstore.
Some apps connect to information in VA’s EHR. Others track information provided by the user or are informational only. To view information about individual apps, visit the VA App Store at mobile.va.gov/appstore.
The apps will provide some of the same functionality currently provided by My HealtheVet, including the ability to view significant clinical details from the VA EHR and, in the future, refill prescriptions and send secure messages to the VA care team. All information in the apps will be protected with the same strong security measures used to protect other Veteran data. There may be a delay (24 hours or less) in between data available in My HealtheVet and data available in the apps.
Yes, all VA personal health data will be encrypted during transmission. Apps that connect to the EHR will not store any personal health information on the mobile device and will require strong user authentication.
Apps for VA care teams will only be available through VA’s secure network. Other security controls ensure that protection meets strict federal standards of security and privacy. Apps that allow access to a user’s EHR will require DoD/VA authentication known as a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) account (also known as a eBenefits Premium Account). More information on obtaining your DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account can be found at mobile.va.gov/dslogon.
Why do Veterans need to have a DS Logon to use the mobile apps? Why can’t they create their own username and password?
As a security measure, Veterans will need a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account before they can log into any VA app that connects to VA’s EHR. DS Logon is meant to act as a strong and secure logon ID that is easy to use and maintain throughout the DoD and VA. There are currently two types of DS Logon accounts. A DS Logon Level 1 (Basic) Account provides limited access to features on some websites. However, a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account is required before users can view personal data in VA and DoD systems, including VA’s mobile apps. For more information, visit mobile.va.gov/dslogon or contact the eBenefits helpline at 1-800-983-0937.
VA will provide support for the apps through the toll-free VA Mobile Health Help Desk at 1-877-470-5947. The Help Desk can be reached Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. For TTY assistance, dial 711. CST. Educational initiatives have been developed, such as training videos, a quick-start guide and other user materials and can be found at mobile.va.gov/appstore.
Though VA’s development environment is currently only available to VA developers (VA workforce and contracted team members), VA anticipates making portions of the environment available to the Open Source community in the future.
VA has developed a mobile project management and accountability system (PMAS) pathway for app development. This system ensures appropriate business artifacts and project milestones are tracked and documented to support success and resource accountability of applications in development. In addition, VA has formed a joint team of both OI&T and VHA staff that will provide both governance and hands-on resources for the creation of new apps. VA has developed an intake process that allows internal VA staff to request assistance with application development from a new VA Mobile Health governance board. For more information, visit Developing VA apps.
For instructions on how to save a VA mobile app to your Home Screen visit http://mobile.va.gov/saving-va-mobile-app-home-screen/.
The VA apps are launched from a secure platform and information stored within the apps is not accessible by Apple, Android or any other vendors.
To make sure your apps work correctly, your device’s Web browser should be up to date. Usually your device will update your Web browser automatically when a new version is available. However, if you are experiencing issues with the app and want to check the version of your browser, look at your device’s settings. If you need more instructions, visit the support pages for your device:
- Apple (Safari browser): https://www.apple.com/support/
- Android (Chrome browser): https://support.google.com/android/?hl=en
- Windows (Explorer/Edge browser): http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/support#1TC=windows-8