10/26/2010 12:33 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Serious Apps for Veterans Health Records

The "Bue Button" gives vets an easy way to download their health records.

However, what's needed is an easy way to view those records, to get them to other doctors, and to add to those records.

This has to be done in a way that keep the records secure and private.

The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Health & Human Services are working with the Markle Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to get the job done. This is in the new spirit of public/private partnership.

Folks at these groups worked together in a competition to get a bunch of apps developed by private industry to support vets... and also to show what could be done for everyone.  (I want this for my own health care, which is to say, we all need this kind of thing.)

Here's something from the winning effort, from Adobe, that illustrates the results:

Viewer Other finalists, providing more really needed function:

MedCommons demonstrated how veterans could create online packets of radiology images when they go for second opinions. 

Microsoft showed how its online HealthVault platform could consume the VA data and allow  it to be used in a variety of third-party applications that a patient might choose. 

RememberItNow focused on medication reminders for veterans.  

Disclaimer: my role in the judging effort was minor, primarily I added much needed glamour to the proceedings.

Disclaimer: yes, part two of that's a joke.