VA Medical-related freebie mobile devices and apps

But, no, the free tablets are not for you!  

provider ipad in room va

provider ipad va

I love my new ipad!

Fiscal Year 2014 means free 10,000 ipads for VHA providers. In the interests of efficiency this use of technology makes sense. 

But security is the big concern. Providers can take their devices home, playground or anywhere (see 2-min. video).  Can the  VA-issued ipads be remotely locked, located, and recovered if stolen?  Is the VA’s  Office of Information and Technology able to protect veterans’ sensitive health information?

Veterans will get free apps, some just out of “pilot” status and most for expensive iphones/ipads.  But the VA is loaning 1,100 VA-application loaded ipads to 1,100 seriously injured vets in a pilot. 

The VA’s mobile applications look useful. If you’ve used any of these, let Asknod readers how it’s going.  

VA Mobile Health (overview site)  Most apps are for pricey  iPads/iPhones.

VA Launchpad for Veterans (required a premium account and secure log in) Connects to your electronic health record.

VA App Store (apps are free);  More links: Mobile Blue ButtonTraining Overview.

Clearly, not all veterans will benefit from the free applications because they don’t own smartphones and can’t afford data plans anyway.  Lifeline programs don’t usually cover data.  The cheapest and best data plan we’ve found is $25 a month (hybrid WI-FI/cell) from Republic Wireless.

Should the VA put out bids for discounted data plans so more veterans can participate? Should homeless vets and pensioners be issued VA phones with data plans?  Would it be asking too much of providers to buy their own devices so that their low-income patients can stay in touch?  Opinions welcome. 

stand down

2013 VA San Diego STAND DOWN Event –good place to “deploy” working smartphones. Click link below for story. Photo: Anthony Suau

About Laura

NW Vermont.
This entry was posted in Guest authors, HOMELESS VETERANS, Medical News, VA Health Care, VA Medical Mysteries Explained, vA news and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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