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Tim Cook visits veterans and doctors at Palo Alto VA hospital, staff using iPads

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday tweeted out a photo and brief message highlighting a recent visit to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., saying he was happy to meet with doctors who now use iPads to treat patients.

In the photo, Cook is seen talking with a hospital staff member who appears to be using an iPad Air with special protective cover. The Apple chief visited the VA Palo Alto Health Care System today with California Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo.

Since its debut, the iPad has been making inroads into the medical sector as doctors turn to the tablet for everything from reference material to chart management. A big part of the iPad's success in the field comes thanks to a healthy selection of industry apps.

The iPad has curried favor as far back as 2011, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration green lit an app radiologists can use to view images and make mobile diagnoses.

Cook's visit comes one day after newly appointed Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald surveyed the Palo Alto VA HCS as part of a nationwide tour of VA hospitals. As reported by the San Jose Mercury News, McDonald lauded the facility as being one of the best in the system.

"Palo Alto VA medical center is one of the crown jewels of our healthcare system," he said. "Every day, great care is delivered to veterans in every healthcare facility nationwide, but it's especially evident here in Palo Alto and that's why I'm here today."

America's Veterans Affairs healthcare system was thrust into the spotlight after it was reported that veterans were receiving subpar care, some of whom supposedly died waiting for treatment. The revelations led to an investigation that found a system fraught with trouble. Falsification of records meant to cover up excessive wait times, incorrect diagnoses and other scandals came to light, ultimately forcing former VA head Eric Shinseki to tender his resignation.

There has been no word as to the VA's official stance on iPads and it is unknown if other facilities in the system use the tablet.