Last week, half a dozen teams from the AI Tech Sprint, run by the National Artificial Intelligence Institute (NAII) at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), were selected to present their results as part of a technology “demo day” at the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.

The “demo day” event was a culmination of a federal initiative known as The Opportunity Project (TOP), a collaboration between government agencies, technology companies and nongovernment organizations to translate open data into user-friendly tools that solve real world problems.

The AI Tech Sprint implemented an award-winning AI-able data ecosystem framework to incentivize government-industry links around data to engage industry and leverages the TOP Toolkit.

IMAGE: Composite Apps received $20,000 for its development of CURA Patient at last week’s “demo day” at the U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce. Pictured (l to r), Dr. Ron Jarmin, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Census Bureau, Charles Rockefeller, of Composite Apps, and Suzette Kent, Federal Chief Information Officer.

Composite Apps received $20,000 for its development of CURA Patient at last week’s “demo day” at the U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce. Pictured (l to r), Dr. Ron Jarmin, deputy director and chief operating officer, U.S. Census Bureau, Charles Rockefeller, of Composite Apps, and Suzette Kent, federal chief information officer.

Unique to this year’s “demo day” was the TOP Prize Challenge, which recognized the most promising and effective uses of open data. The Census Bureau, in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget and Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent, announced the winning projects. Two of NAII’s AI Tech Sprint Teams were recognized: CURA Patient and Clinical Trial Selector.

Irvine, California-based digital consulting company Composite Apps won the “Creating the Future of Health” category along with $20,000 in prize money for CURA Patient.

CURA Patient is a web-based application that enables clinical teams to quickly track encounters and tailor care plans for their patients and ultimately assists with minimizing burnout. It also provides patients with resources to not only understand their care plan, but also to understand how they are doing within their care plan. The development of CURA Patient is led by CEO Long Nguyen, CMO Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Charles Rockefeller, the company’s head of partnerships.

Additionally, Girls Computing League was selected for a talk and also received an Honorable Mention in the challenge for their work on the Clinical Trial Selector, a web-based tool developed for finding eligible clinical trials for more than 9 million Veterans and more than 50 million patients on Medicaid/Medicare. It is also designed to pilot the reverse problem – clinical trial recruitment – so that physicians can look for potential clinical trials for their patients on Medicaid/Medicare.

Girls Computing League is a nonprofit organization specializing in teaching computer science, data science and information technology concepts to students in Northern Virginia and the Washington metropolitan area. The Clinical Trial Selector project is led by high-school students Shreeja Kikkisetti, Neeyanth Kopparapu and Ethan Ocasio. Girls Computing League partnered with Amazon Web Services in the AI Tech Sprint.

“We applaud Composite Apps and Girls Computing League for being recognized in this national challenge and industry for their pioneering projects during the AI Tech Sprint,” said NAII Director Dr. Gil Alterovitz. “It is encouraging to see technologists, ranging from high school students to world-leading physicians, engaged in efforts to help our nation’s Veterans with their healthcare needs.”

In addition to Composite Apps and Girls Computing League, several other AI Tech Sprint teams were featured in “demo day”:

  • LifeOmic – Built a visualization tool with machine learning perspective for VA precision oncology data commons
  • MyCancerDB – Worked on deploying infrastructure to support the generation and querying of large-scale datasets to enable AI, using a VA precision oncology data commons dataset.
  • Oracle Healthcare – Demonstrated an AI-driven customer experience interface to connect the patient and clinician to simplify data driven discussion related to clinical trial options.
  • Sanford Imagenetics – Generated a usable product for determination of the relevance of pharmacogenetic testing based on patient characteristics.

Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Chief of Staff Larry Connell served as one of the event’s keynote speakers. He discussed VA’s commitment to innovation and indicated that the Department has one of the world’s largest health data bases. “[VA is] drowning in data, but starving for information.”

For more information about the NAII, visit


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Published on Dec. 16, 2019

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