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3/30/2012
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Army Aids Wounded Warriors With Mobile App

Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan can find information on medical care, benefits, and other aid, using smartphones.

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The Department of Defense (DOD) has released a mobile application to help wounded soldiers and their families access information that can assist in their recovery and return to U.S. civilian life.

The mobile team at the DOD's Sustainment Center of Excellence (SCoE) (within the Combined Arms Support Command Technology Integration branch) developed the free app, which is available for both iPhone and Android-based devices.

The app is based on a guide for wounded soldiers the department released in November, according to the DOD. "The Wounded, Ill, and Injured Compensation and Benefits Handbook" is a resource for injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to help them readjust to life away from the battlefield and find the medical, benefits, and other support they need in the United States.

The app helps answer questions about medical care; DOD pay and allowances during soldiers' recovery; DOD disability compensation; Social Security benefits; Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits; and other issues. The application also provides the toll-free phone numbers for TRICARE regional contractors, behavioral healthcare providers, and dental, pharmacy and other programs. TRICARE is the health benefits program for U.S. uniformed military soldiers.

[ Learn the 5 Keys To U.S. National Mobility Strategy. ]

The DOD collaborated with the departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as the Social Security Administration on the application, which is available for free download on the Android Market and the iTunes Store.

The DOD, like other federal agencies, increasingly is embracing the mobile platform as a way to give its constituency better and easier access to information.

To support this strategy, the Army recently unveiled a prototype mobile application store with iOS apps developed for soldiers through a military smartphone program. The site, which will also include Android apps, will soon be fully operational.

The Obama administration has offered a number of resources to support soldiers returning home from war and U.S. military veterans through initiatives such as providing Google Chromebooks, job-hunting resources, and mobile applications.

DOD and VA collaborated last year on an iPhone app, PTSD Coach-, to help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) find local sources of support and manage their symptoms.

As federal agencies embrace devices and apps to meet employee demand, the White House seeks one comprehensive mobile strategy. Also in the new Going Mobile issue of InformationWeek Government: Find out how the National Security Agency is developing technologies to make commercial devices suitable for intelligence work. (Free registration required.)

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