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Veterans With Brain Injuries to be Helped by New Tech and Tools Selected at Department of Veterans Affairs Competition Co-hosted by Optum

  • 'Brain Trust' summit features technology solutions to help veterans with traumatic brain injuries, concussions and post-traumatic stress disorder

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Former Army Surgeon General and current Optum Military and Veterans Group CEO Patty Horoho speaking at the VA's Demo Day. (Photo courtesy of the VA.)

Boston (May 26, 2017) — Three teams representing technology companies and a veterans' organization will pilot their ideas to help veterans with traumatic brain injuries.

The 2nd annual Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion summit culminated in a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) "Demo Day" competition co-hosted by Optum at the company's Boston facility, where 15 teams presented their solutions before a live audience and expert panel of judges, which includedveterans, caregivers and clinicians. The competing teams presented new services and technologies, ranging from a software treatment platform for traumatic brain injury to a virtual-reality device that helps veterans with behavioral health conditions.  

Three finalists were selected to test and pilot their ideas at the VA. Their ideas included technologies that use gesture- and voice-controlled assistance for the home or office, and a peer-to-peer approach for healing combat trauma and moral injury. More information on the winning teams is available at www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/38161/vas-annual-brain-trust-summit-offers-platform-innovations-brain-health-head-trauma

"There are unbelievable opportunities to accelerate innovation to help veterans with brain injuries live healthier lives through public-private partnerships like the VA's Brain Trust," said former Army Surgeon General and retired Army Lt. Gen. Patty Horoho, CEO of the Optum Military and Veterans Group. "We are honored to partner with the VA to help ensure our nation's veterans get the quality care they need and deserve."

The Brain Trust partnership brings together more than 350 federal government and private sector participants to collaborate on prevention and treatment of traumatic brain injuries, concussions and post-traumatic stress disorder. Optum is a partner of Brain Trust with other leading companies, foundations and academic institutions.

"Brain Trust is all about convening the best and brightest from the public and private sectors to collaborate, innovate and partner. As the VA has accomplished so many times before, these partnerships will help advance new solutions that will improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury and other forms of head trauma for our nation's veterans," said Matthew S. Collier, Senior Advisor to the VA Secretary for Strategic Partnerships. "Leveraging the VA's rich tradition of medical innovation and discovery, our collective energy, creativity and knowledge will improve health care outcomes for veterans and advance the national discussion about head trauma."

Optum has been a partner of the VA for the Brain Trust events and other Pathways to InnoVAtion initiatives, with the goal of working with the agency, industry leaders, clinicians, scientists and veterans to create innovative pathways and solutions for veterans in the areas of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, suicide prevention, cancer, emotional well-being and other important veteran health issues. 

About Optum

Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 100,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH).



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