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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today a new collaboration with Apple to increase Veterans’ access to virtual care benefits.
VA’s iPad program provides qualifying Veterans with cellular-enabled iPads to access telehealth services and currently helps more than 50,000 Veterans across the country connect to VA health care services virtually.
“VA will continue working diligently to provide Veterans with the tools and resources necessary to access quality health care when and where they need it,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA’s partnership with Apple is an integral step in helping to bridge the digital divide for Veterans everywhere. This is particularly critical during the COVID-19 public health emergency when telehealth is being leveraged to protect the safety and well-being of both our Veterans and clinicians.”
VA has been a leader in telehealth services for decades and began the Connected Tablet program in 2016. A VA study found Veterans who received tablets, reported high levels of satisfaction with care, were less likely to miss appointments, and found it easier and more convenient to access VA care.
To standardize the program and provide Veterans a consistent, quality experience, VA will exclusively distribute iPads to Veterans. iPads offer Veterans the combination of portability, user experience, data privacy and security made possible through Apple’s integrated hardware and software platform. The collaboration between VA and Apple, facilitated by the VA Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships, provides VA with Apple’s expertise to help enhance the platform and ensure Veterans and health care professionals have the best telehealth experience.
“VA’s iPad program provides unparalleled convenience and flexibility when attending my VA appointments,” said Fiona Garcia, a U.S. Air Force Veteran who served from 2001-2011. “After receiving an iPad in March, I’ve been able to receive VA care when and where I need it most. The technology also allows me to stay connected with my doctors when I am not near a Wi-Fi connection or near the VA medical center.”
As part of VA’s commitment to supporting Veteran health care, patients can also securely view and download their personal medical data using the Health Records on iPhone feature from Apple.
Veterans who don’t currently have a video-capable device or internet service and are interested in VA’s telehealth iPad program should consult their VA health care team to determine their eligibility.
Visit Connected Care for more information about VA telehealth.