Technological advancements are continually changing the way we live. Health care is no exception. In service to veterans, the Veterans Administration (VA) is not only embracing advancements in healthcare technology but is helping to push the envelope. The VA is providing personalized medical care for veterans by using innovative in-house and third-party technologies, such as 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality.
The possibilities offered by 3D printing are growing at a rapid pace. This fast-developing technology is proving useful in many areas, including:
- Fabricating organs and bones
- Producing custom prostheses
- Making tools for people with disabilities
- Manufacturing new medical devices and instruments
- Improving pre-surgery planning with the use of patient-specific 3D models
An example of how 3D printing is directly helping veterans is the collaboration between the VA’s Minneapolis Adaptive Design and Engineering (MADE) program and industry professionals to create prosthetic ankles that connect with 3D-printed feet that are created for various women’s shoes, including high heels. This allows female veterans with lower limb amputations to easily change into different shoes while wearing the same prosthesis. This also provides a solution to the issue of most commercially available prosthetic feet not being gender specific and being designed more with men’s feet in mind.
VR and AR Technology
Technological advancements in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are allowing VA and military physicians to offer veterans and active-duty personnel support in innovative ways. VA is using VR gaming technology to help veterans suffering from PTSD to work through their traumatic experiences in a safe and supportive environment.
Developments in AR technology allow doctors in the US to virtually step into field hospitals and assist physicians who are treating wounded service members in real time. This combines skills and expertise from different parts of the globe in the most effective way possible.
Connected Care Programs
The VA’s Office of Connected Care uses digital technology to connect veterans with health care professionals. This gives veterans the option of receiving care when and where they need it instead of having to go into an office or clinic.
My HealtheVet is VA’s online patient records platform. It allows veterans to access their medical records, refill prescriptions, and communicate with their health care providers.
VA Telehealth Services offers veterans convenient access to care wherever they are and whenever they need it. With VA Telehealth, veterans can use their computer or mobile device to meet virtually with their providers and exchange health information. VA health care providers can use VA Telehealth to collaborate with each other, regardless of where they are located.
VA Mobile develops mobile solutions to offer veterans safe and secure access to their medical data via their mobile devices. Examples include apps for refilling prescriptions and connecting with VA health care providers.
Learn more about VA’s Connected Care and the options available to you.
Elder law attorneys and veteran-accredited attorneys are dedicated to keeping you informed of issues that affect veterans. Our firm can help you and your loved ones prepare for expenses associated with disabilities and long-term medical needs, as well as the need to transition to in-home care, assisted living care, or nursing home care. For legal advice, please contact our Wichita office at 316-830-5603.