Boston-Based Software Company’s Telehealth Technology Will Help Make Care More Available to Veterans

Posted by erik devaney

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that the Boston-based telehealth software company, American Well, has won a VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) Industry Innovation Competition award. VAi2 is responsible for selecting, funding, and evaluating new ideas from VA employees, academia and the private sector.

As a result of the award, American Well will be bringing its online care services to U.S. Veterans in their homes, workplaces and other locations; the goal being to make health care more convenient, accessible and effective for veterans (especially those who do not live near VA medical centers).

American Well’s telehealth technology will allow veterans to have online visits with their health care providers. Using text chat, two-way video, and/or phone services, providers will be able to review clinical information, discuss symptoms, provide medical advice and prescribe medications as needed.

“VA is dedicated to providing Veterans with the highest quality, most patient-centric care possible – and we see technology as a critical enabler in our mission,” said Jonah Czerwinski, director of VAi2. “This initiative with American Well will allow VA to use telehealth to deliver needed care directly into the homes of veterans, who might otherwise struggle with barriers such as distance, mobility or the need to take time away from work or family.”

The VA and American Well have announced three distinct “online practices” that will use telehealth technology to benefit veterans.

  • In Minnesota, the Minneapolis VA Health Care System (MHCS) will establish an online Behavioral Health Practice that allows its providers to treat existing patients who are remotely located from the MHCS, with the goal of increasing the patient-centeredness of mental health services treatment, while improving Veterans’ access to convenient and affordable care.
  • In Nebraska, the Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System (NWIHCS) will establish an online Oncology Practice to bring healthcare providers from the Omaha VA Medical Center (VAMC) together with cancer patients across the state, many of whom live in rural areas and are currently required to drive long distances for their appointments.
  • The NWIHCS will also establish an online Perioperative Practice to allow surgeons to deliver post-operative care to patients via Online Care, as part of a collaborative team that also includes staff providing home-based primary and extended care.

“VA is renowned for embracing the latest technologies in service of those who have served our country. We are honored to work with them and support the provision of quality, accessible healthcare for Veterans,” said Danielle Russella, executive vice president of customer solutions at American Well. “Moreover, this announcement marks an important new phase in American Well’s growth – working with the government to bring care into patients’ homes, at a time when telehealth is increasingly recognized as a pillar of improved healthcare delivery across the U.S.”

The collaboration between American Well and VA marks the first utilization of American Well’s telehealth technology by the U.S. government.

Related posts:

  1. Texting for Health: New $25K Grant will Help Boston-Area Students Get Healthy Through the use of Mobile Technology
  2. New Health Plan for Small Businesses Promises to Cut Costs; But Will It Also Cut Quality of Care?
  3. Governor Patrick Announces New Plan for Helping MA Veterans Find Employment
  4. Cisco Systems to Acquire MA-Based Software Company, BNI Video, for $99M
  5. Boston Hospitals Give Back: Member Institutions of the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals Provided $175M in Community Benefits in 2010

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Posted by erik devaney on Nov 4 2011. Filed under Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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