The Greenhouse Initiative is a VHA Innovators Network (iNET) opportunity for the health care innovation community to collaborate with iNET at the earliest stages of innovation to receive input from Veterans and employees to inform solutions aimed to improve Veteran care.

Here are the latest Greenhouse participants working closely with VA frontline employees and Veterans to develop their innovative solutions.

2022 Collaboration Highlights 

LeviSense: LeviSense’s SensorCell Flotation Therapy is a therapeutic bed system with the goal of preventing of pressure-induced wounds and ulcers. The first-ever physical prototype was delivered to Orlando VA in March where almost 100 VA employees from a variety of backgrounds, Veterans and caregivers provided feedback for the next iteration of the prototype.

The prototype also made its way to Louis Stokes Cleveland VA in April for employee, Veteran and caregiver feedback.

“From Cleveland, we came away with a better understanding of VA needs and restrictions concerning data monitoring and reporting. Again, kudos to the VA Innovation Ecosystem and the Greenhouse Initiative. This program will help to bring the highest level of care to the Veterans by combining the latest technologies with VA’s passionate caregivers,” said LeviSense Medical Founder Dave Bertoni.

Device tracks meds dispensing activity

Verinetics: Verinetics has developed the DispenSecur™ device to increase access to treatment, improve recovery and enhance quality of life for patients receiving methadone for opioid use disorder. It gives providers access to a platform that tracks dispensing activity and fosters trust between patients and providers on their path to recovery.

DispenSecur device shown holds 13 bottles which can hold a liquid medication, like methadone used at Opioid Treatment Programs, or pills or suboxone sublingual strips.

verinetics machine

Closeup of the Verinetics DispenSecur™ device

The device keeps track of bottles, not the contents of the bottles, but the back-end software can be configured to correlate bottles to their contents. For example, a bottle can contain a dose of liquid methadone or a set of pills, for example, morning pain meds.

The device shown has an imbedded 5G radio that communicates to a cloud based portal. The device communicates information from the dispenser such as time of day dosing, the device’s GPS location, the remaining medication inventory, etc.

Providers log into the DispenSecur portal where they can look at data sent about all the dispensers deployed to Veterans and see a status of their medication compliance. They can drill down to look at a specific device or patient and can even send commands to the device to lock and unlock the device. This can be used to force a consultation before more medicine can be accessed.

Clinical subject matter experts at five iNET sites have completed user experience (UX) testing of the software platform, which has led to new iterations that better meet the needs of clinicians. Feedback and considerations for the device itself are now underway, with UX testing by both clinicians and Veterans.

Addressing the need to solve Veteran communication barriers

AltComm: Four iNET sites are collaborating with AltComm to design a solution that addresses the need for better communication with Veterans who have communication barriers (hearing loss, speech disorders, language proficiency, etc).

Per a 2021 Executive Order, agencies shall collaborate with their “respective customers in order to conduct human-centered design research and document customer experience challenges.” This new collaboration (as are all Greenhouse collaborations) is an opportunity for VA to fulfill the President’s mission to improve customer experience.

Bison Creek: The Bison Creek Trash Tote System is a disposable product that mitigates hospital-acquired infections by providing a patient trash disposal system at the patient bedside. This new collaboration will allow employees and Veterans in nine iNET sites to conduct UX testing for product feedback.

Pioneering next generation VR

Unlimited Tomorrow: The George E. Wahlen VA and VA XR Network are collaborating with Unlimited Tomorrow to develop a new haptic glove technology. This novel glove technology will initially combine with new virtual reality software to bring the most life-like equine therapy experience for Veterans who have physical, mental, or distance obstacles.

In roughly one year since its inception, the Greenhouse has been an amazingly successful tool to engage VA frontline staff in the process of innovation. VA is only getting started on building this initiative and reaping the benefits of both collaborative solutions being developed and the impact on frontline employee culture.

Want to get involved?

Want to support VHA IE’s innovation revolution? Visit our website to learn about opportunities to become involved in innovation at VA.

By Kalyn Essex is a communications officer at the VA Innovation Ecosystem. She is an Air Force Veteran who served in Operation Enduring Freedom.

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Published on May. 27, 2022

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