This weekend, VA will host simultaneous “hackathons” with a goal of developing innovations to help Veterans with mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. The event brings together experts, developers, clinicians, Veterans, caregivers and the public and gives them the opportunity to collaborate with each other. The hackathon fosters the development of innovations in access, diagnostics, rehabilitation and community reintegration for Veterans with mild TBI and PTSD.
A panel of leading VA and industry experts in the field, along with Veterans and caregivers, will select up to three winners in both Austin and San Francisco this weekend. The winners may be invited to showcase their innovation at VA’s Brain Trust Innovation Showcase in Washington, D.C., in April.
The weekend’s events are open to clinicians, researchers, developers, technologists, designers, data scientists, Veterans, caregivers and members of the public who have a desire to help develop solutions to these challenging issues. Experts and thought leaders in the TBI and PTSD realm will serve as team mentors. Industry experts from Google, Booz Allen, Vets in Tech and many more will be participating as judges and advisors. To attend and for more information, register online at this link.
Why a hackathon? The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in increased numbers of Veterans who have experienced TBI and PTSD. The Department of Defense and the Defense and Veteran’s Brain Injury Center estimate that 22% of all combat casualties from these conflicts are brain injuries. From Oct. 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2014, nearly 400,000 Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn Veterans were seen for potential PTSD at VA facilities following their return from these overseas deployments. The VA is committed to finding new and effective ways to treat and support our nations Veterans who are suffering from these conditions.