Butler VA Health Care System
Try the Annie App
Monday, July 8, 2019U.S. Army Veteran Calvin ‘Cal’ Bowser is one of the first users of the new Annie App at the Butler VA Health Care system. He did a trial run of the new Annie App a few weeks ago and decided to continue to use the tool to complement the resources and support he receives from MOVE! at the Armstrong County VA Clinic.
“I’ve been involved with the VA’s MOVE! Program for many years, and the Annie App helps refresh my memory,” said Cal. “When you get informational and motivational messages, it helps you reflect back on other things you’ve learned. It doesn’t hurt to have a pleasant reminder!”
So, what is the Annie App? Annie is VA’s new mobile text messaging system that reminds Veterans to tend to their own self-care between VA appointments. It can be customized to send Veterans text messages with reminders, like – “Hello, this is Annie reminding you to take your medication. Please reply ‘med yes’ or ‘med no,’” or “Hi, this is Annie. Just a quick reminder that your glucose readings are due.”
In Cal’s case, Annie is customized to help him with nutrition, exercise, and overall healthy living. With the App, Cal receives a daily text message (at 9pm) Monday-Friday.
“That’s the time of evening I sit down for the day and relax. When I get the nightly text message, I think ‘maybe I’ll skip my snack’ or ‘I won’t call out for pizza now.’ It keeps me tuned in.”
To use Annie, Veterans must be enrolled by their care team. If a Veteran would like to solely interact with Annie via text message, just a basic cell phone with texting plan is needed. If a Veteran would like to interact with Annie using the app, he or she will need secure logon credentials.
Cal plans to continue using the Annie App and recommends it to other Veterans. “It doesn’t hurt to try. Try something new!” he concluded.
To find out more about Annie, visit the VA App Store at mobile.va.gov/app/annie-app-veterans or talk to your health care team at the Butler VA!