VA apps deliver a personalized healthcare experience

Veterans who are also VA employees play an important role in spreading VA virtual care technologies. Victoria Backus, Talent Management System Manager at Northport VA in New York, uses her unique perspective to promote VA applications to fellow veterans.

Backus believes VA telehealth is successful in part because VA apps are tailored to the needs of veterans. As a veteran, she uses numerous VA apps to manage her care. For example, she typically meets with her VA vendors through VA Video Connect, VA’s secure video conferencing application.

“To get to the nearest VA facility, I have to take several buses. One of the reasons my health declined was that I didn’t make regular appointments. VA Video Connect allowed me to book these appointments and have continuity of care,” she said.

Backus uses the MOVE Coach, Mindfulness Coach and PTSD Coach apps to manage his physical and mental health. She often recommends these apps to veterans, but her favorite is Mindfulness Coach.

Mindfulness Coach offers a self-guided program designed to help veterans understand and gradually adopt mindfulness practices.

Applications: “Like having a therapist in your pocket.”

“It’s like having a therapist in your pocket. If you need a little intervention and it’s not always something you can do over the phone, the Mindfulness Coach app puts you in control,” she said.

Backus uses his VA tablet to access VA apps and connect with his VA providers. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was a clinical telehealth technician who trained veterans in the use of VA-issued tablets. Backus says veterans are connected like never before because they’ve learned to use these technologies.

Veteran Victoria Backus

“VA was the first and largest medical system to do telehealth. I can’t stress enough how many lives he saved,” she shared. Now as a TMS Domain Manager, she ensures that VA staff members become familiar with VA telehealth.

“I monitor the entire training and learning history of doctors, nurses and secretaries so that Northport VA is nationally compliant. This allows us to treat veterans with the best possible care,” she said.

Backus finds his role at Northport VA rewarding. She builds and maintains connections with veterans in a virtual modality and often reassures veterans who are embracing new technologies.

“When a veteran says, ‘I can’t believe I’m on screen with you,’ I remind them that I’m a veteran too and they can see their supplier that way.

To learn more, visit the VA App Store.

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