The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Mobile Health program has released the VA Video Connect application, an mHealth application that will provide veterans with access to real-time telemedicine services.
The VA Video Connect application enables veterans to join virtual medical rooms from any location and participate in video healthcare visits with their providers.
The app provides a viable alternative method of care, especially for veterans living in rural areas with limited access to VA healthcare facilities and those with restricted mobility or other barriers to accessing care.
Using encryption to ensure a private and secure session, the app allows Veterans to access their providers during a scheduled date and time, just as they would at a face-to-face appointment.
When a VA Video Connect session is scheduled, participants receive an email with a link that allows them to access the virtual medical rooms. Patients simply click the link, enter their name, and launch the session.
The app’s virtual medical rooms allow for multiple participants, so family members and caregivers can also join sessions. However, only invited participants can join, and participants can always see who has joined a session. VA providers are also able to lock the virtual medical rooms once all participants have arrived to ensure no one else can enter.
Although the app primarily uses video and audio to allow patients to connect with their providers, patients can also send text messages to their providers during appointments. If patients need any additional help while using VA Video Connect, the app contains a built-in information feature.
VA Video Connect will work on nearly any device that has an internet connection, a web camera, microphone, speakers, and web browser; including PCs, laptops, and iOS and Android mobile devices.
Veterans and their providers jointly decide whether to use the VA Video Connect application for a medical visit. Once a veteran’s care team begins offering visits through VA Video Connect, patients should discuss its use with their providers.