Strategic Innovation

The Strategic Portfolio includes targeted business opportunities identified by VA leadership as needing solutions. This portfolio manages projects that arise from the VACI Industry Competitions, which give VA the opportunity leverage ideas and creativity from the private sector to solve its most pressing challenges. The Industry Competitions, which have a specific focus each year, seek solutions from all types of organizations – from established leaders in the industry to start-ups, non-profits and academic institutions. Past topics have included maternity care coordination, teleaudiology, treatment of pressure ulcers and prosthetics.

Subject matter experts from VA, other government agencies and applicable industries review the proposals, and selected innovators then work with VACI to design a pilot implementation. After the pilot is completed, each project is evaluated and the most successful projects move forward to broader deployment and eventually national rollout.

  • Ohio Willow Wood Prosthetic Socket System

    prosthetic sockets

    Ohio Willow Wood developed a novel transfemoral (TF) socket system that improves the fit, function and comfort of TF prosthetic sockets. The socket includes an internally sealed prosthetic socket, a sensor enhanced vacuum suspension system, and materials with improved thermal properties for constructing the prosthetic liner and/or socket. Data will be gathered to optimize design conditions and evaluate the effectiveness of the prosthetic system. Patients at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center were fitted with the new socket system for the pilot.

  • Pressure Ulcer Resource Mobile Application

    screenshot of Pressure Ulcer Mobile App

    This application includes educational content with graphics and videos as well as reminders for daily self-care tasks, a portal to self-report wound data to VA so as to improve VA’s monitoring ability for Veterans that live too far from specialty care for routine monitoring. It primarily focuses on at-risk Veterans with spinal cord injuries. Pilot testing is currently being executed at the Philadelphia and Tampa VAMCs, with the goal of including approximately 240 Veterans during its lifecycle.

  • Automated Wearable Artificial Kidney (AWAK)

    AWAK Device diagram

    More than 10,000 Veterans undergo dialysis treatment for end stage renal disease (ESRD), and approximately 3,000 additional Veterans reach ESRD every year. AWAK allows Veterans to receive continuous peritoneal dialysis via a small wearable device (approximately three pounds). This mechanism more accurately mimics kidney function than traditional dialysis, resulting in enhanced care and better health.


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