Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion
Remote Veteran Apnea Management Platform
Army Veteran Finds Sleep Apnea Relief with REVAMP App
“I wake up joyful,” says Army Veteran Walter Broadnax, “I forgot what it was like to get eight solid hours of sleep.” Broadnax, who receives his medical care at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Medical Center (CMCVAMC) in Philadelphia, has Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is estimated to be the third most common chronic disease among Veterans. OSA is associated with an increased risk of hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, depression, and driving accidents.
Led by CHERP Investigator Samuel Kuna, MD, Remote Veteran Apnea Management Platform (REVAMP) is a VA-developed web platform designed to facilitate the remote diagnosis and management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). REVAMP allows Veterans to have access to their own treatment data, communicate directly with their provider via secure messaging, and see their OSA treatment progress. REVAMP promotes self-management for Veterans undergoing diagnosis and treatment for OSA with one application for information, videos, and tips for treatment along with visual displays of their treatment results last night, last week and last month.
REVAMP illustrates how VA-funded research accelerates improved patient care and outcomes for Veterans. Samuel Kuna, MD, VA Physician and Director of the Crescenz VA Sleep Center, is also a Core Investigator with the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP). In 2012, Dr. Kuna was awarded a VA Employee Innovation Award to translate his research into practice. In August 2017 REVAMP launched at ten sites across the country, will expand to 15 more sites in Winter 2018 and is on course to serve 270,000 at 135 VAMCs by April 2019.
Army Veteran Walter Broadnax, a patient at the Philadelphia VAMC, registered with REVAMP after being recommended by his sleep care team. His initial home-study indicated that he would benefit from using a PAP machine. Broadnax said he is feeling better and enjoys studying his sleep metrics with the REVAMP app.
“I did my initial home sleep study and learned that I had 51 breath pauses in an hour, which was very disturbing,” Broadnax said. “People do not realize that this PAP machine revitalizes you. I cannot say any more than that because it is a life saver. This condition could get worse if it is not treated. I’m grateful that my doctors recommended this tool to me.”
Veterans receive ongoing support from their care team through several important functionalities within the REVAMP platform. The care team assigns questionnaires that are answered and submitted directly through the app, which leads to customizable care by soliciting the Veteran’s experience with the PAP machine, the care team, and the REVAMP web platform.
“The questionnaires are easy to answer,” Broadnax said. “Any questions I have, Dr. Kuna and the team members are accommodating and ready to help.”
Accessible from phone or computer, REVAMP allows Veterans to play a primary role in tracking sleep data and adjusting sleep habits to mitigate the effects of OSA. Veterans can contact or receive notifications from their care team regarding sleep metrics that lead to restful sleep, like breathing rate, position, and keeping to a consistent schedule.
Veterans have access to several other app components offering further education on OSA and the ability to exchange secure messages with their sleep care team. Care teams routinely upload Sleep Apnea FAQs to the app for Veteran awareness, and care teams can schedule overnight Sleep Tests to focus on specific sleep metrics. Veterans can also schedule in-person or over-the-phone appointments, or read care team progress notes that outline achievements to date and map the road ahead.
“The VA support teams walked me through the process and any questions I had,” Broadnax said. “It’s a really satisfying experience.”
REVAMP was launched as a pilot at 10 VA Medical Centers in August 2017. In the first five months of operation, more than 310 patient accounts were created, more than 166 diagnostic questionnaires were completed, and 39 home sleep test results and 124 initial consults were logged.
To access and review training materials for REVAMP for Veterans and REVAMP for Clinicians, please visit the VA App Store. You can also watch a short training webinar about REVAMP to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV1tI2KCaqY&t=3s.
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