U.S. Army: mHealth lets patients play a role

By Brian Dolan
07:59 am

Colonel Jeffrey DaviesDuring a plenary session at the American Telemedicine Association event in Las Vegas this week Colonel Jeffrey Davies, Acting Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command described an mHealth project for wounded soldiers who have recently returned home from conflicts overseas. Davies' talk was entitled "The Army Medical Department's Tele-TBI Intitiatives: Today Military Applications Setting the Pace for Tomorrow's Civilian Telemedicine Opportunities."

While Davies never mentioned the Army's key vendor partner in its mHealth initiative for wounded soldiers, we know it's AllOne Mobile since we have been following their story for a few months now. Davies noted that having a mobile phone-based platform helps to increase interaction between patient and caregiver and leads to an augmented patient-caregiver relationship. Davies said it has been exciting to watch the program take off and make a difference in these soldiers' lives. Here's how it works...

AllOne Mobile allows users to:

- View and send insurance coverage information
- Track prescription drugs
- Catalog allergies, or fax a child's allergy records to the school nurse
- Send health information, i.e. family health history, to a physician
- Access health tips to better manage chronic conditions

AllOne Mobile's Director of Sales and Business Development Frank Avignone told mobihealthnews a few weeks ago that the Army signed a contract for 10,000 soldiers.

"There's 14,000+ as far as wounded soldiers coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq," Avignone said. "So they bought 10,000 licenses to run a trial. When we say 'pilot' this is a complete project unto itself, but they are looking to see how they can apply this technology to other modalities-not just wounded soldiers."

Everyday we are now able to help our wounded warriors shape the care regimen and be there for every step as they work through their plans, Davies told attendees at ATA. "Now, don't get the idea that we are giving every soldier a cell phone. We're not because they already have their own."

Davies said that the software can run on most phones and access information stored on servers in a secure Department of Defense server. The network that the information runs over is HIPAA compliant bidirectionally, too, Davies said.

"This program will allow [our wounded soldiers] to play a role in their own care," Davies said. "It will also let them see the outcomes."

The colonel said that the program is currently underway at three different sites across the Northeastern U.S. and is undergoing a formal research assessment. Davies indicated that at next year's ATA event he hopes to share some of the lessons learned from the pilot.

Davies concluded his remarks with a call to action: The applications we are using in the Army have direct relevance to the civilian population, Davies said. And so, I'd like to ask you to come and share how the Tele-TBI can be more robust. Any ideas for the Army?


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