You may have heard that Veterans are using VA Video Connect in record numbers. Since its release last year, more than 100,000 video visits have been logged using the application. But are you still wondering how to get started?
VHA’s Office of Connected Care and Veterans of Foreign Wars held a Facebook Live event on Sept. 18 to share those details. Neil Evans, M.D., Connected Care chief officer, and Army Veteran Ryan Gallucci, VFW National Veterans service director, hosted the event and aired a video demonstration of VA Video Connect.
“It’s technology that allows Veterans to have video visits with their VA health care providers from a convenient location,” Evans explained. “The way it works is pretty simple. If you have a VA Video Connect visit scheduled, you would get an email. In that email would be a link with the time for the visit. You would just click on that link and … be brought into what we call a virtual medical room.”
Veterans can use technology they already have for a video visit, like a personal computer, tablet or smart phone, so long as the device has an internet connection and a webcam. If it’s an iOS device, the VA Video Connect iOS app must be downloaded from the Apple App Store. Veterans with Android or other non-iOS devices can just click the link – no app download is needed. Find quick start guides for different device types on this page of the VA App Store.
“(VA Video Connect) is similar to Skype or other video conferencing solutions, but it is encrypted, private and meets all of the requirements for delivering health care in a secure way,” Evans said.
Three Steps to Get Started
If you’re a Veteran who is interested in using VA Video Connect, here are three steps that were shared during the event:
- First, talk with your VA care team to see if video appointments can be part of your care plan. Veterans and their health care providers jointly decide whether to use VA Video Connect for a medical visit.
- If the answer is yes, a VA staff member will schedule the appointment and help you determine how you will connect to the video visit.
- Finally, when your appointment is scheduled, you will receive an email with your scheduled appointment time and video visit link.
Those who tuned into the Facebook Live event had a lot of great questions and comments. Check out some of the highlights below.
Many participants asked if there are hidden costs with VA Video Connect visits. The answer is no.
One participant asked about hours of availability for video visits. It was a very smart question, actually.
Several noted the benefits VA Video Connect can provide to Veterans living in rural locations.
Thank you to all Veterans and their supporters who participated in the event. If you missed it, watch the full video below or on Facebook.