The Department of Veterans Affairs, with an estimated 9000,000 telemedicine encounters in 2017, is teaming with Walmart, T-Mobile, and Philips to expand the footprint of this service to build a national telemedicine network. The companies will help establish telehealth stations as well as host the VA’s Video Connect mHealth app to help address the needs of the 90% of veterans don’t live within 10 miles of a VA medical center. From a thematic perspective, we see the VA adopting solutions that fall within our Disruptive Innovators investing theme to address the pain point being felt by the country’s veterans. Programs such as these that serve as an advanced pilot can help pave the way for wider adoption of telemedicine, which would also help drive our Digital Lifestyle and Digital Infrastructure investing themes.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding its “Anywhere to Anywhere VA Health Care” program with new telehealth and telemedicine partnerships.
At this week’s “Anywhere to Anywhere Together” summit in Washington DC, the VA announced connected care programs with Walmart, T-Mobile and Philips designed to give veterans more opportunities to connect with healthcare providers through telehealth.
In its deal with Philips, the VA will use Philips telemedicine technology to establish telehealth services at 10 Veterans of Foreign wars and American Legion posts across the country. Walmart will be establishing similar telehealth stations at some of its locations, while T-Mobile has agreed to host the VA’s Video Connect mHealth app for free on digital health devices used by veterans.
“(It) totally changes the VA’s footprint for delivering care,” Deborah Scher, executive adviser to the Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships at the department, told the Federal News Network. “We mapped out where our veterans are in greatest concentration against VA facilities, and then we put the Walmart map on top of that. Ninety percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart. Ninety percent of veterans don’t live within 10 miles of a VA medical center. This totally changes their ability to access care in a way that works for their lives.”