Toward the development of national telehealth services: the role of Veterans Health Administration and future directions for research.


The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has emerged as a national and international leader in the delivery and research of telehealth-based treatment. Several unique characteristics of care in VA settings intersect to create an ideal environment for telehealth modalities and research. However, the value of telehealth experience and initiatives in VA settings is limited if telehealth strategies cannot be widely exported to other public or private systems. Whereas a hierarchical organization, such as VA, can innovate and fund change relatively quickly based on provider and patient preferences and a growing knowledge base, other health provider organizations and third-party payers may likely require replicable scientific findings over time before incremental investments will be made to create infrastructure, reform regulatory barriers, and amend laws to accommodate expansion of telehealth modalities. Accordingly, large-scale scientifically rigorous telehealth research in VHA settings is essential not only to investigate the efficacy of existing and future telehealth practices in VHA, but also to hasten the development of telehealth infrastructure in private and other public health settings. We propose an expanded partnership between the VA, NIH, and other funding agencies to investigate creative and pragmatic uses of telehealth technology. To this end, we identify six specific areas of research we believe to be particularly relevant to the efficient development of telehealth modalities in civilian and military contexts outside VHA.





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Publication Info

Tuerk, Peter W, John Fortney, Hayden B Bosworth, Bonnie Wakefield, Kenneth J Ruggiero, Ron Acierno and B Christopher Frueh (2010). Toward the development of national telehealth services: the role of Veterans Health Administration and future directions for research. Telemed J E Health, 16(1). pp. 115–117. 10.1089/tmj.2009.0144 Retrieved from

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Hayden Barry Bosworth

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Dr. Bosworth is a health services researcher and Deputy Director of the Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT)  at the Durham VA Medical Center. He is also Vice Chair of Education and Professor of Population Health Sciences. He is also a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Nursing at Duke University Medical Center and Adjunct Professor in Health Policy and Administration at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests comprise three overarching areas of research: 1) clinical research that provides knowledge for improving patients’ treatment adherence and self-management in chronic care; 2) translation research to improve access to quality of care; and 3) eliminate health care disparities. 

Dr. Bosworth is the recipient of an American Heart Association established investigator award, the 2013 VA Undersecretary Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research (The annual award is the highest honor for VA health services researchers), and a VA Senior Career Scientist Award. In terms of self-management, Dr. Bosworth has expertise developing interventions to improve health behaviors related to hypertension, coronary artery disease, and depression, and has been developing and implementing tailored patient interventions to reduce the burden of other chronic diseases. These trials focus on motivating individuals to initiate health behaviors and sustaining them long term and use members of the healthcare team, particularly pharmacists and nurses. He has been the Principal Investigator of over 30 trials resulting in over 400 peer reviewed publications and four books. This work has been or is being implemented in multiple arenas including Medicaid of North Carolina, private payers, The United Kingdom National Health System Direct, Kaiser Health care system, and the Veterans Affairs.

Areas of Expertise: Health Behavior, Health Services Research, Implementation Science, Health Measurement, and Health Policy

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