VA & Healthy Together collaborate on mobile access to health records
The initial offering enables veterans to view and store immunization records all in one place.
WHY IT MATTERS
Healthy Together uses the Department of Veterans Affairs Lighthouse program to securely access relevant VA data when veterans connect their VA accounts.
The collaboration is part of the VA's efforts to provide more ways for veterans to securely access and utilize their health records and data through the agency's API.
Beyond vaccine records, the collaboration will expand access to test results, allergy records, clinical vitals, medical conditions and appointment records, according to the announcement.
Healthy Together is one of a growing list of third-party tools in the VA's app directory.
The company currently works with the Florida Department of Health, the state of Colorado, the University of Oklahoma and others to share test results and access certain public health benefits.
More than 50% of households in Florida have adopted the mobile application, where more than 1.5 million veterans reside, according to the company.
"Healthy Together is very simple to use, even for those who are not tech-savvy," Veteran Louis Mazzacane said in the announcement.
"Having a digital copy of my immunization records saves me from carrying paper copies back and forth between providers."
THE LARGER TREND
The VA's API platform is part of the agency's digital modernization strategy to leverage approved technology partners' abilities to build innovative tools for veterans.
Last month top leaders from the digital transformation team discussed new technology applications, including its own mobile app development and the use of SaaS and low-code tools that improve agility and deliver better end-user experiences.
"It's important for us to be constantly trying to meet veterans where they are," Charles Worthington, CTO of the VA, said during the panel discussion.
Agency response to veterans' requests for care and service has long been criticized, and digital access to health information through tools like Healthy Together is one way the VA hopes to reduce call center requests and provide shorter wait times for veterans that prefer to call the VA.
On its website, Healthy Together says its technology has saved agencies and organizations more than $60 million in cost avoidance.
"We know that not every veteran is going to want to interact with the VA in the same way," Worthington added.
ON THE RECORD
"We're thrilled to be working with the VA to help all veterans gain easy access to their critical health information," said Jayson Ahlstrom, co-founder and chief product officer at Healthy Together.
"Providing a personalized and up-to-date digital history of vaccinations in the Healthy Together app is just the beginning and we look forward to expanding access."
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