The DoD Safe Helpline app turned heads this month at mHealth, a conference showcasing advances in mobile health technologies. The award-winning app allows military Service members who have been sexually assaulted to create a personalized self-care plan to aid in their recovery.
More than 56% of Americans now have smartphones, which has led to a huge expansion in the use of mobile technology in healthcare. Earlier this year, the Safe Helpline won the prestigious President’s Innovation Award from the American Telemedicine Association, a group of leading technology and healthcare companies such as Intel and the Mayo Clinic.
mHealth is a collaborative summit dedicated to advancing and supporting mobile health initiatives within the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs by featuring presentations by top influencers in the military health field. Maj. Matthew Youngblood of DoD SAPRO, the office that heads up sexual assault policy for the Pentagon, and Jen Marsh, RAINN’s vice president for victim services, led a session about the app at the conference.
“The DoD Safe Helpline app is unique because it’s the only app specifically for survivors,” said Jen Marsh, VP of Victim Services for RAINN. “With this app, survivors can create their own private self-care plan, which can help them manage the short- and long-term effects of sexual assault.”
“With over 4,000 downloads since we launched the app, we are seeing a positive response from the DoD community,” said Maj. Youngblood.
Also addressing the conference were representatives from the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins University, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and leading healthcare contractors. One emphasis of this year’s gathering was the potential for mobile healthcare tools to address both physical and behavioral illnesses.