Jon Bon Jovi, VA and Project REACH

(On this Memorial Day, 2013: God Bless Those Who Gave Much and the Families of Those Who Gave All…Heroes, Every One)

Catch your attention? Hope so!

So, what do Jon Bon Jovi, the VA (Veterans Administration) and also HUD (Housing and Urban Development) have in common… and just what is Project REACH?

Jon Bon Jovi, HUD and Health and Human Services collaborated with the VA Center for Innovation when it sponsored a mobile application competition called, you guessed it: “Project REACH”. The competition was created in March, 2012 to help those veterans, as well as others, who have found themselves in a homeless situation and in need of services available to them through various organizations via mobile and information technology.

The challenge to the community of software developers was to develop a way for our homeless vets to have access to assistance through local resources in order to get the support and physical care they need. The five finalists of the competition, selected in June of 2012, were allotted a certain amount of time to perfect their applications and last month, April 2013, the winner was announced.

“Qbase”, which is based in Reston, Virginia, won the $25,000 prize for the app, “Homeless REACH”, (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and Homeless) which is a great tool for caregivers, social and other workers who are helping homeless veterans, according to Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Washington.

reachLogo

The app will be able to access Veterans Administration open data, as well as open data from other agencies, both government and private, strictly for locating resources for the homeless anywhere in the country.

To quote Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, “We’ve come to rely on smart phones and tablets to access information and now we can apply this same technology to help people find a place to sleep or direct them to medical and other vital services.” (1)

Veterans Administration Medical Centers all over the country have been using telemedicine and telehealth technology in greater or lesser degrees for decades, starting with the simplest form of anytime teleconsultations with a charge nurse. More recently, remote monitoring for certain conditions have been gaining attention as possible additions to the health care arsenal – again, in some locations more than others, depending on need and acceptance.

Imagine the benefits to be had by combining all medical care technologies together!

As for Jon Bon Jovi…I can certainly remember “back in the day” when I used to love to sit and listen to that band’s music. To know that he has combined forces with the VA, HUD and HHS to assist Project REACH attain its goals though…

                             Well now. Wow.

Just. Wow.

In Loving Memory of All Our Military From All Wars Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice. We Thank You.

In Loving Memory of All Our Military From All Wars Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice. We Thank You.


Reference(s) and Citation(s):

U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. (April 15, 2013). VA, HUD and 
Jon Bon Jovi Announce “Project REACH” Grand Prize Winner. In Office 
of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. Retrieved May 25, 2013, 
from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2434.
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“Smart” Medicine for Every Day

So…you have always made provisions in your daily schedule to accomodate your exercise routines. They’ve pretty much stayed the same for the past 10 years but, lately, you’ve noticed you’re not getting that much out of the morning run, afternoon swim and evening bike ride as you used. You wind up feeling a little bored and tired rather than getting that “rush” which physical exercise always provided. You want to change the routine but you also want to be smart about it; you’re getting older and you’d feel better if you talked to a doctor first.

You’ve called your physician to tell him your intentions to revise your exercise plan and you have arrived at his office, with notebook and pen in hand to take notes. What greets you when you walk into his office pretty much floors you for it looks as if a little alien spaceship has ‘urped’ all over the top of his very large conference table.  As you look at him quizically he says, “Smart Medicine is for every day.”

Yours is one of the doctors who has decided to embrace modern Smart Medicine technology rather than running away, screaming, into the night in fear.

 He asks you for your SmartPhone and proceeds to give you a demonstration about how by using this kind of Smart medicine technology you will be able to keep detailed records of how your body is reacting to your physical exertions, without having to carry an old doctor’s satchel full of stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and thermometers whilest jogging through your neighbourhood. By using any of these devices to monitor yourself, by the end of the week you will be able to re-invent your work-out to better suit your changing body.

Many of these devices – such as a miniaturized heart/bp monitor and other devices that can be worn on or close to your body – can connect to your SmartPhone or iPad using a USB port or other connection .  He even showed her an amazing shirt that had sensors built right in that would negate the need of add-ons.  “Wearable” monitoring devices can measure movement, body values, blood glucose and oxygen, ECG, pulse – just basically provide continuous physiological data that can be sent directly to a doctor.

There are also apps that can be downloaded to a SmartPhone or iPad that have really increased the reliability of using remote health care and consultation services such as DrSmartPhoneMD via phone or internet.

Most awesome by far, though, was the alien looking headpiece that took front and center of the display which, besides the shirt, was the very definition of this modern medical and health care technology called “Smart Medicine”.  Any of those Smart Medicine devices could be used to make sure her new exercise regime could be designed specifically for her updated needs, safely and thoroughly.

Having a regular time set aside for exercise is important, whether it’s going to the gym, spending time in front of a workout DVD, taking advantage of your community’s recreation center exercise classes or even setting aside your 10 minute breaks throughout your work day.

Just remember:  before you make any drastic changes in your exercise regime, talk to a doctor and get some sound medical advice.

After all, any medicine is Smart Medicine!