New health care technology helps local veterans

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STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Its obvious that technology has changed the way we do things, and now the VA Black Hills Health Care System is using technology to help out our local veterans.

The VA Black Hills Health Care System helps around 19,000 South Dakota veterans, and now thanks to advances in technology, the VA can help even more.

One of those advances is called telehealth, a video-chat system, which allows veterans to receive care from their provider without going to an office.

"Its really breaking through any barrier you might have, such as travel, the weather, or being home bound," said Jill Tobin the Nurse Manager Telehealth for VA Black HIlls. "Being at home is really the preferred method of seeing your provider. Its really the preferred place of care, so we just really want to have technology, and your health care at your finger tips."

Veterans can also use heath care apps, such as programs called healthy vet and annie.

"Annie pretty much allows providers to help vets with their treatment by sending them text messages," said Connected Health Coordinator Charles Henderson.

It's not just technology, the VA also offers acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, and many other services.

On Thursday, May 17, the Department of Veterans Affairs will host a benefits fair in Rapid City at the VFW Post 1273 on Main Street.

Veterans can get information and watch demonstrations on a variety of therapies. These include tai chi, yoga, mindfulness and many more complimentary treatments.

Staff will also demonstrate new smart phone applications and innovative technologies.