Military Advantage

VA Touts Health Record Access for iPhone Users

Young hipster man using a smart phone in his kitchen

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday that veterans using VA health care will soon be able to easily access their medical data using their iPhone's built-in Health Records app.

In a press release, the VA said veterans' health care data will be integrated into the free app by this summer.

Veterans will be able to see an aggregated view of all their VA health care data, including lab test results, medications, vital signs, medical procedures and more in the health app at anytime on their iPhone. Data from VA medical providers should be available on your mobile phone within 24 hours of receiving treatment.

Along with data from VA health care providers, similar details from private medical providers will be available on the app if they participate in the program.

This way, all a veteran's health care data will be available in one easy-to-access place, making it simple for users to understand and share with other medical providers as necessary.

While the VA is touting this as a giant step forward, health care data has long been available for all veterans via the eBenefits and MyHealtheVet websites, which can be easily accessed via VA.gov. Medical data can be downloaded and shared between medical providers using the VA's "Blue Button" health record sharing system, which was implemented in 2010.

The main benefit of this app over existing options seems to be the ability to view all of your health care data from multiple providers in one spot. Also, data on the app will be displayed in plain English, making it much easier to understand than currently available sources.

The VA is providing no information on when an Android version will be available. If history holds true, and you are one of the 60 percent of U.S. mobile users who opt for the Google version instead of Apple, you will likely wait a while to see that capability. The VA's Move app for weight loss was available for Apple users more than four years before it became available for Android users.

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