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Putting Your Health in Your Pocket – How Gov is Investing in Mobile Health

Today, nine out of 10 Americans own a mobile phone. Of that group, more than 65 percent own a smartphone. And these days it seems like you can do everything on that smartphone. Everything from email to banking to dinner reservations can be done with the swipe of a finger. And now those smartphones are giving patients the ability to monitor their own health any time, anywhere. Mobile phones are transforming the way we monitor, engage and report our health to our doctors.

It’s not just the average citizen who’s using mobile health to improve health results. The government is investing in mobile health, too. For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs allocated more than $66 billion to fund veteran medical care in fiscal year 2016. A portion of that funding was dedicated to increasing patient access and use of mobile health applications. Those dedicated funds are part of a program known as the VA Mobile Health Initiative. The initiative aims to “focus on data mobility that will increase opportunities to empower veterans and caregivers to be active participants in their health care and lead healthier lives,” according to the program’s mission statement.

“Almost everyone has a mobile device, and everyone goes to the doctor and other healthcare providers. It just makes sense to pair mobility and health together,” said Bentley. “For health care providers the end game now is a patient checking their own health so they can be their own personal health advocate. This brings it down to a different type of engagement between patients and clinicians – whereby better and more timey information can empower patients to make informed decisions but with the support of their healthcare network.”

To get a better sense of what’s happening with mobile health in the federal space, GovLoop partnered with RedHat, a leading provider of open source solutions for government, for this industry perspective. We spoke with Josh Bentley, a Mobility Specialist at the company, about how agencies are partnering with them to enhance their mobile health deployment and, as a result, provide leading-edge services to citizens.