The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Selects American Well for VAi2 Industry Innovation Competition Award to Improve Patient Care Using TelehealthNovember 6, 2011 No Comments
SOURCE: American Well
Boston, Mass., November 2, 2011 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and American Well™ today announced an
initiative to bring telehealth services to U.S. Veterans in their homes, workplaces and other
convenient locations, following an award from the VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) Industry
Innovation Competition. This initiative will focus on using American Well’s Online Care system
and aims to make needed care more accessible, convenient and efficacious for Veterans,
particularly those remotely located from VA medical centers. The agreement marks the first
deployment of American Well’s telehealth technology by the U.S. government.
“VA is dedicated to providing Veterans with the highest quality, most patient-centric care
possible – and we see technology as a critical enabler in our mission,” said Jonah Czerwinski,
director of VAi2. “This initiative with American Well will allow VA to use telehealth to deliver
needed care directly into the homes of Veterans, who might otherwise struggle with barriers
such as distance, mobility or the need to take time away from work or family.”
The Online Care service will aim to improve access by allowing Veterans to have online visits
with their own providers, as well as multi-disciplinary care teams when needed, through the
Internet. Using two-way video, secure text chat and/or phone, providers will be able to review
patients’ clinical information, discuss symptoms, provide medical advice, and diagnose and
prescribe medications as appropriate. At the end of each online consultation, a record will be
captured automatically that the Veteran can share with appropriate healthcare providers,
maintaining continuity of care.
Specifically, American Well’s initiative with VA will result in the use of its telehealth solution
to establish three “online practices” to benefit Veterans:
In Minnesota, the Minneapolis VA Health Care System (MHCS) will establish an online
Behavioral Health Practice that allows its providers to treat existing patients who are
remotely located from the MHCS, with the goal of increasing the patient-centeredness of
mental health services treatment, while improving Veterans’ access to convenient and
In Nebraska, the Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System (NWIHCS) will establish an
online Oncology Practice to bring healthcare providers from the Omaha VA Medical Center
(VAMC) together with cancer patients across the state, many of whom live in rural areas
and are currently required to drive long distances for their appointments.
The NWIHCS will also establish an online Perioperative Practice to allow surgeons to
deliver post-operative care to patients via Online Care, as part of a collaborative team that
also includes staff providing home-based primary and extended care.
“VA is renowned for embracing the latest technologies in service of those who have served our
country. We are honored to work with them and support the provision of quality, accessible
healthcare for Veterans,” said Danielle Russella, executive vice president of customer solutions
at American Well. “Moreover, this announcement marks an important new phase in American
Well’s growth – working with the government to bring care into patients’ homes, at a time
when telehealth is increasingly recognized as a pillar of improved healthcare delivery across
The VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) selects, funds, and evaluates new ideas from VA employees,
academia and the private sector. For more information, go to http://www.va.gov/vai2/.
About American Well
American Well™ brings healthcare into the homes and workplaces of patients. Its Online Care
Suite is the industry’s leading telehealth solution, connecting providers and patients for live,
immediate, and clinically meaningful encounters using the Web or phone. With its patented
technology, the Online Care Suite removes traditional barriers to healthcare access – such as
geography, mobility, and time constraints – while enabling providers to deliver quality care in a
flexible, convenient manner, generating revenue along the way.