The iPad is already a big hit with the healthcare industry. A new pilot project being run by Veterans Affairs Department could encourage the iPad to be used as a longterm home care solution as well. As part of the agency’s Family Caregivers program, the VA will deploy 1,000 iPads to family members of veterans suffering from injuries and disorders associated with military deployments after 9/11.
The VA program was created to help disabled veterans remain at home with loved ones providing personal care. It already provides a range of important resources for caregivers including a monthly stipend, travel expenses for care-related activities, health-related training, counseling services, and respite care.
The pilot program, which Nextgov reports as being called Clinic-in-hand, will see iPads rolled out to caregivers with a range of medical apps pre-installed. Custom apps will be capable of integrating with VA medical systems and will be capable of exchanging health-related data between the department, veterans, and caregivers. Eligible participants will be be randomly selected to take part in the program over the summer.
In addition to the Clinic-in-hand program, the VA announced an enterprise app store initiative last fall. Apps being developed as part of Clinic-in-hand will also be made available through that app store.
The move is one of the first large-scale tests of the iPad by human services organizations. Many case managers and other employees in the human services and supportive care fields often need to work with clients in their homes, doctor’s offices, and other locations. The iPad is a natural fit for such uses, particularly 3G and LTE iPads, as it can provide needed reference materials and access to case management systems.