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How VA Turns Survey Data into Better Veteran Health Care

4:02 PM ET A new system can flag veterans at risk of suicide based on the surveys they answer about Veterans Affairs Department services they receive. A veteran filling out a feedback form about VA care might describe symptoms of suicidal thoughts or behaviors that put them at risk of homelessness. The system...

Government Using Drones To Track Down Dangerous Pigs

August 21, 2017 The federal government wants a high-tech strategy for tracking down what it describes as a “dangerous, destructive, invasive species” wreaking havoc on the nation's crops, pets and outdoor historical sites: wild pigs. Often feral swine, also known as wild boars or razorbacks, have escaped or been released from farms and...

Can Virtual Reality Be Used to Simulate and Treat Depression?

August 18, 2017 Virtual reality headsets could help researchers better understand depression, according to the Health and Human Services Department. The National Institutes of Health is looking for small businesses selling virtual reality technology that can simulate certain factors contributing to depression, as well as potential countermeasures. NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse...

Pentagon Expanding Behavioral Biometrics With Keystroke Tracker

August 17, 2017 A second group within the Pentagon is experimenting with technology that can track the way employees type, determining within seconds whether a user accessing a network is who they say they are. The Defense Department office responsible for seeking out cutting-edge commercial technology recently awarded Canadian company Plurilock a contract...

OMB To Congress: DATA Act Could Advance Trump's Agenda

August 16, 2017 Obama-era legislation requiring federal agencies to make their spending data public, including dollar amounts given to contractors and grant recipients, could help President Donald Trump streamline government, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 directed agencies to upload financial data to...

Almost Half of Traffic To Government Sites Comes From Smartphones and Tablets

August 16, 2017 Federal agencies looking to improve their websites for citizens should consider that about 43 percent of traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. If that percentage continues to increase, government developers might want to take a "mobile first" approach to web design, according to a blog post from the General...

IARPA Funds Project To Track Worker Productivity with Sensors

August 15, 2017 The connected system known as the internet of things might soon include human employees as part of its network. An intelligence community-funded research project aims to use wearable sensors to track worker productivity, and two University of Minnesota professors are joining the project to better understand how stress impacts job...

Draft Bill Would Create Connected Device Advisory Board for Agencies

August 14, 2017 A House lawmaker wants to make sure federal agencies using internet-connected devices can keep them safe—and she wants industry’s help to do it. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., released a discussion draft of the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act—a companion to one already in the Senate—to gather feedback from industry...

U.S. Digital Service Is Three Years Old

August 11, 2017 The tech troubleshooting team that emerged out of the ad hoc group that helped rescue Healthcare.gov has turned three. The U.S. Digital Service, an Obama-era initiative recruiting private sector tech talent for one- or two-year rotations in government, has stuck around under President Donald Trump. Some had speculated that Trump...

Mine Safety Inspections Go Mobile

August 10, 2017 Coal miners—and their safety—have figured prominently in President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric and, more recently, the administration’s efforts to incentivize mining on federal land. For one Bethesda-based tech company, the recent spotlight on the mining industry could provide a boost in business. DMI sells technology that lets safety inspectors log...