Jim Doray recently had an appointment with his VA doctor in Southern California even though the 24-year Navy Veteran was sitting on a sofa in an RV headed east on Interstate 40. He and his wife were visiting relatives in New Mexico when he noticed something was wrong with his blood pressure.
The appointment was virtual, of course, using VA Video Connect and a tablet with an internet connection. Even at home, Doray lives far from his VA and regularly uses VA Telehealth Services, so he knew he could request a video visit rather than head to the nearest emergency room.
Doray’s experience is becoming more common as VA expands efforts to provide virtual care, especially to Veterans in rural areas. In 2018, VA surpassed 1 million video health visits for the first time.
Additionally, VA announced partnerships in December with Walmart, Philips Healthcare, the VFW and the American Legion to enable Veterans who lack the necessary technology in their homes to receive remote health care at a convenient location. A separate agreement with T-Mobile also will help expand access by allowing customers to use VA Video Connect without their data plans being charged.