Through public-private partnerships with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), since early April, all Veterans have been able to securely connect to their health care data online.
Online Veteran health care records first only available on iOS operating systems, are now also accessible on Android mobile devices and web applications.
iBlueButton and MyLinks are free health information exchange apps providing Veterans the ability to securely access, manage and interact with their health information. They also make it easier for Veterans to set and achieve health care goals regardless of their device.
“Veterans having access across the board to mobile and web health app services
increases interoperability and eases the flow of information, while keeping their personal data secure,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Data security and Veteran’s consent are essential to maintaining trust and credibility with our stakeholders.”
A Veteran must first authorize access to their health information using a VA-approved authentication method before an app can access their data. At any time, the Veteran can revoke the privileges they’ve granted to these apps through their account settings on VA.gov.
iBlueButton, which makes critical health care information readily available to the Veteran, has been connected to VA’s My HealtheVet Blue Button since 2010. With this app, Veterans can generate an organized medical history from both VA and Medicare. In December 2019, the iBlueButton applications used the new VA Health API to create a new feature that organizes and visualizes a Veteran’s lab values.
MyLinks enables patients and caregivers to view and share aggregated health records, manage multiple family records, and store and share other important documents and images. Since January, MyLinks has leveraged the VA Health API to help Veterans and their caregivers securely share health information across the Veteran’s care team network of providers.
The apps allow VA application programming interfaces (APIs) to be available for developer use through the Lighthouse developer portal. Lighthouse is an API platform that gives developers secure access to the VA data they need to build helpful tools and services for Veterans.