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VA Pilots Vertiglo Application Services: Returning Vets to Use Mobile Devices to Receive Care
Returning veterans are now able to access to their primary care provider using an issued handheld devices through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The application created by the Orlando, Fla.-based tech firm allows veterans to keep track of their personal, military and family health history. Along with a snapshot of their historical information, a GPS scheduler allows veterans to connect with their primary care physician and to receive assistance via FaceTime chat using Apple’s iOS platform.
The need for this new technology was realized by the Department of Veteran Affairs, after being flooded with disability claims. The VA wanted to use technology to expedite the 23-page application process used by veterans to receive disability benefits.
“Close to half a million claims have been filed and that doesn’t include ones from earlier conflicts,” said Acting VA Under Secretary for Benefits Michael Walcoff. “Infrastructure using technologies like smartphones can lead to promising results in areas like Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.”
Air Force Staff Sergeant Bill Plesh, who suffers from PTSD, is an active user in the VA’s pilot program and has already seen a difference. “I find that my family can see what’s happening in my progress and the changes in service to my progress through the Vertiglo program,” said Staff Sergeant Plesh.
Staff Sergeant Plesh, a regular at the Frank Tejeda Outpatient Clinic in San Antonio, Tex., is one of many soldiers returning from war with psychological issues, as well as economic difficulties. He is unemployed and stresses that more has to be done to make services more accessible.
One specific benefit and difference maker could be in suicide prevention discussions, among veterans and returning troops.
“The VA is overwhelmed and not able to track and monitor suicides,” said Paul Rieckoff, Executive Director and Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “With technologies like this, there's a better momentum to invest in the veterans returning from war. Non-profit agencies are using innovative tools like this to spearhead the call for action. The data shows a clear track record of success.”
Vertiglo founder Luke Roopra believes that meaningful changes like this should not be complicated or slowed by veterans who can't afford the service.
"Currently, it’s free to users in the pilot program," said Roopra. “This project is entirely private funded through Vertiglo and its partners. We were grateful to have access to the VA, so we could simply ask questions and build the framework.”
Gary Powers, CEO of Gateway Health Systems agrees – “the partnership with Vertiglo and the model used, provides an alternative standardized delivery system for our existing and returning Veterans.”
The pilot has been so successful, that Vertiglo is currently in the planning stages of organizing a forum with veterans to showcase for the members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
“We are really hopeful that standardization moves ahead in the 112th Congress and gets the attention and funding it deserves,” said Peter Sharan, Vertiglo Director of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. “We thank Booz Allen tremendously and look forward to scale this throughout the VA.”
Vertiglo will showcase this software to agencies and organizations at the 2011 American Telemedicine Association Conference in Tampa, Fla., on May 1-3. The application is compliant for all mobile and smart devices and is currently only available for veterans accessible through a joint VA pilot program.
Features include: secure messaging, GPS locational services, Mobile communication through video, Transfer of data to VA outpatient file, Retrieval of Veteran information and immediate contact with primary care physicians.
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Vertiglo is a global Web development and brand management firm, headquartered in Orlando, Fla. Since its inception 1997, Vertiglo has expanded its offices to throughout the United States, Europe and Dubai, U.A.E.
With its dedicated staff of innovative professionals, Vertiglo helps create inspiring products and unique brand opportunities by matching a client’s needs to the proper design solution. Vertiglo’s mission is to continually reach beyond the agreed to level of service and strive to deliver extraordinary work on every project. To connect with Veritglo on-line, visit www.vertiglo.com.
About Veterans Administration
The Department of Veteran Affairs provides veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned - and to do so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship.