The Veterans Affairs Department will extend its Blue Button program providing online access to health care information to smartphones and tablet computers, through a contract awarded Wednesday under its Innovation Initiative. The department also plans to support online access to medical imagery.
The Innovation Initiative was set up in 2010 to identify, test and evaluate promising solutions that enhance the accessibility and quality of care and services delivered to veterans.
Agilex Technologies of Chantilly, Va., received a contract to develop the VA Mobile Blue Button, which allows patients to view and share their VA health data on mobile devices. The application also will enable secure messaging between VA health care providers and veterans.
Ray Group International of Washington won a contract to develop the Blue Button Extensions Medical Imaging application to give veterans the ability to view and download their own medical images, such as X-rays, MRIs, and scanned medical records. Northrop Grumman was tapped to develop the Blue Button Authentication Field Test Proposal, which will help veterans to authenticate online, for greater flexibility in accessing their medical records and other VA services.
VA awarded 13 innovation contracts valued at a total of $22 million Wednesday, bringing the number of awards it has made over the past three years to 120, and launched the VA Center for Innovation to build on the success of the VA Innovation Initiative.
The center will run an Innovation Fellows Program, Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program, and Partnerships Program that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said will “bring proven innovators from government and the private sector into VA to focus on high-opportunity areas.”