At Tech Day, VHA highlights how innovation is reshaping health care delivery for Veterans through 3D printing and virtual reality

Federal workers, public experience first-hand how VHA is elevating care for Veterans


shadow

Senior Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employees recently demonstrated to the public how innovations are advancing clinical care and outcomes for Veterans. Innovations included a virtual reality application used as a revolutionary PTSD treatment and 3D printing used for everything from orthotics to pre-surgery procedures.

A man and woman talk to each other at a convention.

Beth Ripley demonstrates 3D printing.

The innovations were presented at the 2nd Annual Tech Day on May 16th in Washington, DC, by Dr. Beth Ripley, Senior Innovator Fellow, and Joshua Patterson, Acting Director of Strategic Initiatives with VHA Innovation Ecosystem (IE). Tech Day is a way for federal agencies to share their cutting-edge, mission-enabling technologies with leaders, fellow federal workers, and the public.

VHA IE made a big impression with its virtual reality and 3D printing demonstrations as attendees experienced how these ever-expanding technologies are helping Veterans every day.

Patterson demonstrated StrongMind, VHA’s innovative PTSD treatment that offers patients therapeutic experiences that wouldn’t be possible without the use of virtual reality. By donning a virtual reality headset, attendees experienced how StrongMind works and why it’s appealing to a younger generation of Veterans. They also experienced the personalized, forward-thinking care VA is delivering to Veterans using innovative technology.

Ripley described how VHA’s 3D Printing Network is an integrated national effort that allows VA health care staff to share ideas and best practices, solve problems, and pool resources to improve Veteran care.

These programs aren’t just on the showroom floor, however.

Veterans in the Puget Sound area have been the beneficiaries of 3D printing as VHA medical staff make model kidneys for Veteran patients with renal cancer to aid in pre-surgical planning. At many other VHA facilities, Veterans suffering from diabetes who lose feeling in their feet now have access to custom orthotics at the time of their visit, instead of waiting weeks to have them manufactured.


About the VHA IE

VHA’s IE is the catalyst for enabling the discovery and spread of mission-driven, health care innovation that advances Veteran care and delivers service that exceeds expectations, restores hope, and builds trust with Veterans.

See how VHA IE’s featured innovations benefit Veterans, their caregivers, and their families: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/oasam/ocio/tech-day.

Author

Matthew Razak

Matthew Razak supports VA as a contractor with Atlas Research, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm providing strategic advisory and applied research services to federal health and social service agencies. Matt has been working with VA for the past six years supporting social media and communication efforts.