U.S. President Donald Trump and the Department of Veterans Affairs announced new steps Thursday to use technology to expand health care for veterans.
The new initiatives include the use of video technology and diagnostic tools to remotely conduct medical examinations, and allow veterans to use mobile devices and computers to schedule, reschedule or cancel appointments at VA facilities.
“This will significantly expand access to care for our veterans, especially for those who need help in the area of mental health, which is a bigger and bigger request, and also in suicide prevention,” Trump said as the new initiatives were announced at the White House.
The president also said the new services will be particularly useful to veterans who live in rural areas.
The new services will be added to the VA’s existing Telehealth Services program, which provided care to more than 700,000 veterans last year, according to VA Secretary David Shulkin.
Trump advocated heavily on veterans’ behalf during his presidential campaign last year, emphasizing the need for improved health care.
“These accomplishments are only the beginning,” Trump said. “We will not rest until all of America’s great veterans can receive the care they so richly deserve.”