WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a Digital Health Platform to make all available health data—from personal devices and wearables, to provider-generated information at office visits—easily accessible in one digital location that can follow veterans anywhere.
“The DHP is an entirely new approach to health care,” said Tim Cox, IT strategic communications, external communications lead, Veterans Affairs.
The platform integrates data from VA, military and commercial electronic health records, apps, devices and wearables to a veteran’s health care team in real-time. It is powered by a Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)-enabled Application Programming Interface (API) gateway, enabling data interoperability between systems.
Cox explained that a veteran’s data and full health record is currently housed in many different, complex systems, each holding discrete records of the veteran’s interactions with military, community and VA health teams.
“Our DHP liberates this data, connecting each health record and enabling a wrap-around platform that continuously gathers this discrete data, analyzes each clinical interaction and prescribes precision, proven care,” he said.
The DHP strategy shifts data ownership to the veteran, and makes the information available to the veteran, the provider and the caregiver, said Cox.
“This approach provides a seamless experience for the veteran, offering everything they need to manage their health in one place, including appointment scheduling, video conferencing, sending messages to providers, medication management, fitness goal tracking and more,” he said.
DHP is a true public-private partnership, with the VA working with partners including Salesforce, Mulesoft, Apervita and UCB, as well as the Veterans Health Administration, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Because of this, the VA believes the DHP will save money and improve its return on investment, said Cox.
“Emerging technologies are less costly because of the public-private model (through which the VA and its private partners share assets to deliver the DHP),” he said. “They are more flexible, more attractive to the marketplace and have earlier adoption because benefits outweigh costs.”