How the VICI Initiative is Connecting a Fragmented Ecosystem to Benefit Veterans and their Families

Today, many of us are familiar with the myriad of government programs, such as the Veterans Affairs, more commonly known as the VA, and the more than 40,000 charities focused on the military and their families. And yet, with all of these solutions and help, veterans still face a world of disconnected care.

In 2018, the Mission Act was passed to help eliminate funding gaps, coordinate timely medical care, and help to reduce lapses in healthcare services for veterans. While good in theory, the reality is that the care veterans are receiving still leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, it has left the VA scrambling to secure funding and retain patients. A recent article called attention to many of the issues veterans have been facing, including being prevented from seeking the outside care that the law was created to allow.

It is well known that many veterans face complex health issues such as mental health disorders, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and higher rates of suicide. They also face higher numbers of homelessness than the average US citizen.

With all of these known issues, research, government programs, and charities, the pressing question remains of why do so many veterans have to deal with these issues at all? There is a disconnect between those providing the support and those who need it, and until we answer the fundamental question of “why,” the problem won’t be resolved.

Finding answers through questions

All medicine has its basis in science, and the foundation of science has always been asking questions. Through questions, we find the answers to explain the world around us. The key is to ask the right questions. A recent article on curiosity by the physician Peter Attia stated, “the best science is that which creates as many questions as it answers.”

According to Heather Leigh Flannery, Founder & CEO of Equideum Health, “Currently in the United States, veterans’ health is negatively impacted by the highly fragmented nature of healthcare delivery and breakdowns during care transitions.” Until the dots that make up this fragmented system are joined, supply won’t match demand, leaving many without the care they need and deserve. 

Connecting a fragmented system

Equideum Health, along with Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services and Linux Foundation Public Health, are taking steps to connect the dots for veterans with the Veterans Incentivized Coordination and Integration (VICI) initiative. This novel program focuses on optimizing and personalizing veteran-facing health and social services, with the goal of placing veterans, their families and caregivers at the center of the ecosystem.

VICI is powered by Equideum Health’s Elevated Compute™ platform, which leverages open-source software to enable coordination across the organizational boundaries of healthcare stakeholders, optimizing the delivery of health services for improved outcomes while ensuring veterans have fine-grained control over their private health and health-relevant data. To ensure the initiative fulfills these goals, it will be led by a consortium of enterprise stakeholders.

The platform will help providers from different centers coordinate via blockchain, decentralized artificial intelligence, and confidential computing to optimize health outcomes and help connect veterans with all of the available programs near them. Dr. Joseph Wood, a physician, veteran, and VICI’s Executive Director stated, “As physicians, we’re interested in the overall wellness of our patients, but our healthcare IT systems often don’t capture that information in ways to make any of it actionable.” The VICI project will help veterans find opportunities in their community to engage with fellow veterans and use technology to match needs with available resources.

What sets VICI apart is the opportunity for veterans to control their own data and give them the opportunity to receive remuneration if they choose to share it with researchers. The platform has decentralized AI-driven predictive capabilities and privacy-preserving matching for clinical trials to help support veterans’ health and accelerate the potential of creating and delivering innovative precision therapies.

The team at Equideum Health and our partners in this venture are excited to be able to bring these new solutions to veterans and their families, placing them at the center of a new, integrated health ecosystem to prioritize veterans’ needs and wellbeing.For further information, check out this webinar recording, and contact us here.

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