The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued a presolicitation on, detailing its plans to utilize emerging technologies to improve healthcare products and in turn, patient care.

In the November presolicitation, VA said it’s not planning to award a contract in the short term, but instead is gathering information and identifying parties with an interest in and capability to provide emerging technologies to the agency. The VA has named the program Accelerating VA Innovation and Learning (AVAIL).

Specifically, the VA is looking for help in areas such as advanced manufacturing in healthcare, data transformation, AI, machine learning, 5G technology solutions, simulation technology, and more.

Advanced manufacturing of medical devices includes areas such as 3D printing, injection molding, and milling, according to the VA.

“These actions will focus on new solutions across 5 major lanes of effort pertaining to the use of advanced manufacturing in VA: (1) anatomical model for pre-surgical planning; (2) personalized prosthetics, orthotics, and surgical instruments (3) personalized dental devices or equipment; (4) personalized assistive technology; and (5) bio-fabrication,” the presolicitation says.

As for AI and machine learning, the VA is looking for a contractor to “participate in the design, development, testing, and/or evaluation of new artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP) or neural networks (NN) solutions across a wide range of clinical and administrative areas.”

Potential 5G technology solutions will focus on remote care, patient wearable devices, utilizing augmented reality for clinical care delivery, and advances in extended reality.

The VA is currently using virtual reality and augmented reality in nearly 50 sites for clinical care for everything from training to patient education, pre-surgical planning, and even remote care. The VA hopes to further advance these efforts through the AVAIL program.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.