VA joins XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance to combat COVID-19 and future outbreaks

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it has partnered with the XPRIZE Foundation’s Pandemic Alliance as part of a public and private coalition to help develop ways to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and subsequent global outbreaks.

The XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance partnership will help connect VA’s Veterans Health Administration Innovation Ecosystem (VHA IE) with thought leaders from academia, the medical arena and private industry and encourage innovative ideas and techniques to further drive emergency preparedness solutions to address COVID-19.

“VA has long played a central role in health care innovation and continues to demonstrate strong leadership in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Working with partner organizations in the XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance allows VA to utilize new tools and techniques to respond to COVID-19 and prepare new solutions to combat future pandemics.”

“VA has long played a central role in health care innovation and continues to demonstrate strong leadership in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Working with partner organizations in the XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance allows VA to utilize new tools and techniques to respond to COVID-19 and prepare new solutions to combat future pandemics.”

In the immediate term, the XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance will focus on accelerating solutions for remote care and telehealth, provisioning personal protective equipment, and increasing COVID-19 test access and availability. VHA IE’s National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation (NCCHI) will provide thought leadership, public health expertise, and insight on feasibility and scalability of ideas to the XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance.

Through the Alliance launch partner and health benefits company Anthem, XPRIZE partners will have access to one of the largest certified de-identified data sets. This includes years of longitudinal data of prior viral outbreaks, which will allow researchers and innovators to develop and model new approaches in response to a pandemic.

XPRIZE is a nonprofit organization aiming to spark technological development projects that solve societal grand challenges to benefit humanity.

NCCHI, located at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center, will serve as the leader through the duration of the year-long partnership.

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