The 'anywhere to anywhere' idea is to allow VA providers to provide telehealth services from anywhere in the country to veterans anywhere in the country.
The collaboration has started with a hands-free virtual assistant that uses Nuance's AI technology together with Epic's EHR system.
The application called Annie will be tested at four VA sites, including Washington, D.C.; Portland, Maine; Cleveland; and Minneapolis.
Called Patient Viewer, the application allows providers to access information contained in the VA's Vista electronic health record platform.
Veterans will no longer be required to travel to a VA facility, and can receive telemedicine treatment from anywhere, including their home or a community center.
The smartwatches will be used in a pilot study focused on tracking sleep patterns in veterans suffering from PTSD-related nightmares.
The telehealth program has improved clinical outcomes and expanded access to care for veterans while reducing treatment costs and complications.
The agency's 2016 budget includes $1.2 billion that will specifically go toward telehealth efforts to connect rural and remote veterans with healthcare services.
Targeted expansion in 2015 includes tele-audiology, primary care, women's health, intensive care unit telehealth and clinical video telehealth into homes.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has been using pilots as part of its development strategy for VA mHealth apps since 2011.