Washington DC — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is offering $100 million for innovations to improve health care quality for veterans. The VA is looking for audiology telemedicine solutions, as well as other initiatives.

The 2011 Industry Innovation Competition is intended to identify, fund and evaluate promising innovative technology proposals to improve the quality of health care for Veterans.

One area that the VA is focusing on for this competition is audiology telemedicine, where audiology services could be provided virtually to veterans living in rural areas that are far from medical centers.

Veterans, both young and old, are subject to combat and other service-related hearing loss or simply due to the natural aging process.

Effective telemedicine solutions provided over the Internet could potentially alleviate long trips to hearing aid dispensers and clinicians, as well as provide more medical services for veterans.

Veterans with potential hearing loss are disabled and cannot easily travel long distances without the aid of family members or other services. A telemedicine solution could reduce the cost and frequency of these trips.

This is the second Industry Competition launched by the VA innovation initiatives. Awards from the 2010 competition are being announced on a rolling basis as contracts are finalized.

SOURCE: The Department of Veterans Affairs