VA Announces $80M for Innovation Ideas from Private Sector

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced $80 million dollars in funding to boost the VA Innovation Initiative, looking to the private sectors for fresh ideas to address needs.

The VA will be looking for solutions from private firms in the following areas:

” Innovative Housing Technology to Address Veteran Homelessness: Eliminating Veteran homelessness is a top VA priority.  New design and construction techniques, materials and building technology can enable VA to use existing buildings and unused space to rapidly create highly functional, energy efficient and affordable housing.

· Telehealth: VA is a leader in telehealth implementation and currently serves many thousands of Veterans with solutions such as home health monitoring.  Potential applications for telehealth solutions are broad and varied and department officials are interested in pursuing integrated solutions that improve their ability to provide the right treatment at the right place and at the right time.

· New Models of Dialysis and Renal Disease Prevention: VA currently provides dialysis for more than 10,000 Veterans annually, at both VA and community-based medical facilities.  Alternative treatment strategies and dialysis technology can extend and improve our ability to provide quality care in a patient-preferred setting.

· Improvement of Polytrauma Care: VA provides comprehensive, inter-disciplinary rehabilitation care to Veterans and returning service members with multiple injuries, or polytrauma.  Solutions in areas such as the application of dynamic treatment algorithms, home monitoring of diverse and complex symptoms and assistive technologies can help the broad advancement of polytrauma care.

· Reduction of Adverse Drug Events: The development and deployment of strategies to prevent patient harm from adverse drug events is an on-going priority at VA.  Tools that can integrate with VA records and systems and provide an increased ability to continuously monitor for at-risk situations can enhance dramatically the quality and safety of care provided by VA.

· Integrated Business Accelerator: A wide array of services and benefits are available to assist Veterans, and Service Disabled Veterans in particular, in starting and sustaining new businesses. However, an integrated, long-term approach that assists Veterans in accessing existing resources and provides services that aid in the launch and maintenance of startup businesses can help insure the long-term success of Veteran-owned businesses.”

“At VA, we are continually looking for new ways to improve the care and services we deliver,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. “Engaging the private sector to tap its expertise and find ways to leverage private-sector innovations, we can improve the quality, access and transparency in service to our Nation’s Veterans.”

The VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) is a department-wide program looking to bring the best and most cutting-edge healthcare solutions to Veterans.

“Innovation is more than simply a collection of ideas,” said Jared Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University. “It requires close collaboration between academia, industry and government to produce solutions that make a meaningful impact on society.  VAi2’s programs bring about exactly that kind of fruitful collaboration.”

“Creativity in the private sector generates a wealth of technology capability that can help drive VA forward,” said Dr. Peter Levin, senior advisor to the secretary and VA’s chief technology officer. “By targeting innovations that are nearing commercialization, the Industry Innovation Competition provides a bridge between creative ideas in the private sector and real-world deployments that improve the services we deliver.”

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