VA releases VA Video Connect telehealth app

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released an updated telehealth app for iPhones March 23 called VA Video Connect.

Veterans will be able to use the app to participate in remote appointments via video consultation and connect with their providers using a chat feature. VA Video Connect replaces a previous iPhone app, called Pexip, which will not support video visits as of March 23.

For other devices, such as laptops or Android smartphones, telehealth visits will continue to operate through a web-based platform, which does not require an app download.

"The app makes VA healthcare more convenient and reduces travel times for veterans, especially those in very rural areas with limited access to VA healthcare facilities, and it allows quick and easy healthcare access from any mobile or web-based device," according to an app description posted on the VA's website.

The description specifies that, prior to scheduling a telehealth appointment on VA Video Connect, a veteran must confirm with their healthcare provider whether the option is appropriate for their medical needs.

President Donald Trump and former VA Secretary David J. Shulkin, MD, revealed plans in August 2017 to expand telehealth nationwide under a program called VA Video Connect, which would enable patients to reach VA providers via video conferencing on smartphones and desktop computers.

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