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New apps provide Airmen mobile medical education and tools

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Two free mobile applications produced by the Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia, or CEMM, are now available for Airmen and all military health system beneficiaries.

The CEMM Virtual Medical Center app and a pregnancy app called "My Pregnancy A to Z Journal" are available for free download from the iTunes store as well as the Android Market.

"These applications were built to provide the ease and speed of information to patients so they can have these resources at their fingertips," said Lt. Col. Constance Smith, the CEMM director.

The CEMM Virtual Medical Center app includes three main elements: a military treatment facility locator, a TRICARE plan finder and a section on patient education.

Within the patient education section, app users can look up immunization information, see lists of common health questions, view animations of medical terms or diseases, access an extensive CEMM library and even list and track their own prescriptions.

"The CEMM VMC app features a medication reminder system; this is a valuable tool especially for patients who have difficulties remembering to take their medication," Smith said. "Patients can input what medication they are taking and what time they need to take the medication, and the mobile app can remind them when they need to take it."

The pregnancy app includes a variety of features, including a tool for uploading and sharing photos or images such as ultrasounds, a mobile journal, an events log and a health statistics tracker. The app can also be programmed to push notifications to expectant mothers depending on their stage of pregnancy.

"For example, if a mother is at her second trimester we can push information to her mobile device providing medical recommendations that she may need at that time," Smith said.

Both apps are the first two mobile applications created by the CEMM. The CEMM is an Office of the Air Force Surgeon General initiative, located on the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., with the mission of providing interactive multimedia medical patient education throughout the military health system.

The development and rollout of the pregnancy app involves not only the CEMM, but also the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and other service branches.

The CEMM is already planning the release of their next mobile application, an app called "eWellness" that is scheduled to be available for download in summer 2014. The wellness app will allow users to track and learn more about aspects of their general health as well as certain medical conditions.

"If eWellness app users are diabetic, for example, they will be able to track their insulin levels," Smith said. "The app features seven tools, to include a weight and fitness tracker, so patients are able to track their calorie count and body mass index."

By developing apps such as these, the CEMM provides interactive, engaging tools aimed to reach patients with their educational programs.

"Our main goal, of course, is to help patients stay well," Smith said. "We are focused on educating today's Airmen, who are tech-savvy and accustomed to accessing knowledge at their fingertips, so they can be fit to accomplish their respective parts of the Air Force mission."

To find and download the CEMM VMC app and the "My Pregnancy A to Z Journal" app, Airmen can visit the CEMM library and click on the "Mobile Apps" tab on the left.

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