VA launches Innovation Creation Series to improve quality of life for veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced the launch of its new Innovation Creation Series for Prosthetics and Assistive Technologies.

Through the launch of this series, all designers, engineers and problem-solvers are invited to help accelerate the development of personalized technologies to improve care and quality of life for veterans, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“VA has long been at the forefront of research and technology, discovering new ways to give our veterans the best care possible,” Robert A. McDonald, VA secretary, said in the release. “We are reaching out to technology leaders in the corporate world and to the public in order to find creative new solutions to help transform care and quality of life, not only for our veterans, but for the public at large.”

The series will focus on a number of challenges, with goals to: develop novel upper- and lower-extremity devices at the end of prosthesis for daily use; create a medication pillbox that allows the flexibility to hold medications that need to be taken up to eight times a day, with a reminder system for each time medication needs to be taken; create a device that can dampen tremors when someone is performing fine motor tasks; design a device to remotely change the speed and grip strength of a prosthetic device for veterans with upper-extremity injuries; and create a way to reassign motions and buttons on gaming controllers to provide alternative access for veterans who are using them in therapy to improve eye hand coordination, fine motor control and/or range of motion.

The VA Innovation Creation Series will accept proposed solutions through the end of June. The Series will culminate in a 2-day “Make-a–thon” event on July 28-29 at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Va., where the designs submitted by the public online will be built and tested to showcase how they could meet the needs of veterans, according to the release.


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