The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) – which boasts the largest integrated health system in the U.S. – is continuing to embrace 5G technology by exploring meaningful use cases to support veterans, an agency official said today.

Speaking at the ACT-IAC Emerging Technology Forum 2020, Dr. Ryan Vega, Executive Director for the VHA Innovation Ecosystem Office of the Deputy Secretary for Discovery and Affiliate Networks, spoke about deploying 5G technology in connection with the agency’s Project Convergence, which he called the “fusion of technology, expertise, and innovation to enhance care delivery in ways that will change and save lives.”

The project has allowed VHA to move large amounts of data from imaging exams in order to recreate 3D holographic images with “stunning clarity.”

“Project Convergence … was really a partnership between Microsoft, Verizon, MEDIVIS, and the VA, with 5G being provided by Verizon, MEDIVIS being the surgical navigation system, and Microsoft providing the HoloLens and some new iterations on the HoloLens to really … bring this technology into simulation spaces and actually understand how to best incorporate this into the operating room,” Dr. Vega said.

“Instead of just expecting a surgeon to adopt it, let’s figure out how this is actually going to work,” Dr. Vega said of the project.

Dr. Vega said the agency is developing additional use cases within VA to scale 5G technology and expand its use. By embracing 5G technology, Vega says, the agency is really thinking about its incorporation into critical workflow and seamlessly integrating its use.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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