VA Announces Industry Innovation Competition Winners

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Projects Tap Technologies to Advance Care, Benefits for Veterans

 

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs today announced 13 new awards in the agency’s 2010 Industry Innovation Competition.  The new projects will give VA an opportunity to evaluate new ways to enhance care and benefits for Veterans.

“As we work to transform the care and benefits we provide, evaluating industry’s innovations is an important part of our mission,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “These projects enable us to work with industry to integrate new solutions into the services that we provide and that Veterans have earned.”

The new projects include improvements to telehealth, dialysis, detection of adverse drug reactions, education and assistance for Veterans starting their own businesses, and permanent housing for homeless Veterans.

The VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) operates the Industry Innovation Competition, which is designed to improve access, quality, and Veteran satisfaction while improving value.

“The VAi2 Industry Innovation Competition engages a wide variety of companies, non-profits, and academic institutions,” said VAi2 Director Jonah Czerwinski. “The VAi2 team has worked extensively with the creators of the best proposals to design pilot projects that test the best of industry innovation to improve the care and benefits that we deliver.”

The winners include:

  • Eadvantage, from Potomac, Md., to develop a new e-learning platform and education content to help Veterans in all phases of entrepreneurship, from initial self-assessment and business plan preparation through the launch and growth of successful businesses;
  •  Pharmacy OneSource, Inc., from Seattle, Wash., to improve online medication information and allow for on-demand notifications of potential adverse drug interactions;
  •  Vigilanz Corp., from Minneapolis, Minn., to provide tools that help clinicians actively develop and manage the rules that define potential drug issues and to apply those rules in real time to patient information;
  •  AWAK Technologies, Inc., from Burbank, Calif., to develop a wearable dialysis device that substantially increases patient freedom for normal activity and promises better health;
  •  Medical Education Institute, Inc., from Madison, Wis., for patient-navigated education in a video game-like format, guiding patients through the complexities of managing chronic kidney disease;
  •  Affinity Networks, Inc., from Arlington, Va., to develop disease management content that can be delivered over mobile phones to Veterans being treated for traumatic brain injury, providing frequent updates to patients to improve treatment effectiveness;
  • American Well Inc., from Boston, Mass., to integrate two-way video, secure chat, and phone communications so Veterans can communicate remotely with clinicians and avoid long trips to consult with specialists when medically appropriate;
  •  Interactive Performance Technologies, from Cambridge, Mass., to develop a system so patients can report hard-to-gather information on chronic conditions directly from their homes to health care professionals;
  •  Kinetic Muscles, Inc., from Tempe, Ariz., for new equipment that enables home-based physical therapy for stroke victims and collects data for remote monitoring and analysis by the therapist;
  •  Service Wing Healthcare, from San Diego, Calif., to provide a mobile platform for clinicians to provide mental health assessments, thereby eliminating the currently paper-based process and making it easier to obtain assessments for all returning Veterans;
  • SweetSpot Diabetes Care, Inc., from Dayton, Ohio, for a technology to automatically collect and report in-home readings from blood glucose monitors, securely transferring the information to both patients and clinicians so that they can better monitor their diabetes and clinicians can more easily detect emerging issues before they become acute.
  •  Ridgewood/5Stone Real Estate Partners, from Ashburn, Va., working with LaCite Development, from New York, NY, to construct sustainable, telehealth-enabled housing for homeless Veterans with integrated job training opportunities at the VA Medical Center facility in Martinsburg, W.Va.; and
  • Soldier On, from Leeds, Mass., to construct energy efficient housing for homeless Veterans that offers supportive services ranging from financial planning to substance abuse counseling at the VA Medical Center facility in Northampton, Mass.

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