Innovators Vie to Have Their Brain-Health Solutions Implemented Through U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Brain Trust’s “Demo Day” offers 15 Finalists – four from Mass. – the chance
to have their ideas tested with Veterans and implemented through the VA

Boston, MA May 4, 2017 – The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is leading a two-day summit focusing on research and innovation for brain health at their second annual Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion, taking place May 17-18. While the initial day will highlight key challenges that Veterans with brain injuries face through expert panel discussions, day two, “Demo Day,” will feature cutting-edge solutions from top innovators from around the country to help solve these obstacles. Demo Day is taking place at Optum on Boylston Street and is free and open to the public; to attend the Brain Trust 2017, please register here.

Demo Day will showcase 15 pre-selected finalists to present their innovations to a panel of Veterans, Veteran Caregivers, and VIPs. The industry and academic innovators will have the opportunity to pitch or demonstrate their current innovations in the area of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and head trauma, with the top three finalists receiving the opportunity to test and implement their work at the VA with the help of Veterans.

This year’s innovations are far-ranging in scope and application, including:

  • Device to monitor patterns to identify triggers aim to prevent and eliminate suicide in Veterans
  • Digital rehabilitation calendar and resources for patients and their caregivers
  • Brain monitoring and brain stimulation technologies
  • Web-based speech pattern analytic program prototype
  • Behavioral medicine applicator implemented via app, mobile device or sensor package

A full list of presenters and innovations as well as the Demo Day schedule can be found here.

“Developing a program to allow established and up-and-coming industry and academic innovators to work with the VA will strengthen our capacity to help Veterans,” said Matthew S. Collier, Senior Advisor to the Secretary. “Some of the brightest minds of the next generation of influencers and creators will showcase their ideas and prototypes at this year’s Demo Day.  The VA is honored to be at the forefront of their exploration as they begin their journey to help improve the lives of Veterans with brain trauma.”

Brain Trust 2017 will be held in Boston, a city known for its intersection of sports, education, health care and technology. The esteemed judging panel includes:

  • Regina McGlinchey, Associate Director for Research Training at the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at VA Boston Healthcare System and Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
  • James Reid, Veteran
  • Kyle Sims, Veteran
  • William Milberg, Co-Director of the Translational Research for TBI and Stress Disorders, VA Boston Healthcare System, Associate Director for Research, New England GRECC, VA Boston Healthcare System, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Meg Kabat, National Director, Caregiver Support Program at Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Joel Scholten, Associate Chief of Staff for Rehabilitation Services for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Brigadier General (ret.) Loree Sutton, Commissioner for the New York City Department of Veterans Services
  • Lisa Reid, Caregiver and Veteran Spouse

These leaders will judge the pitches of the finalists based on their experiences in innovation and head trauma. Day 2 of the Brain Trust event featuring all Demo Day presentations are free and open to the public; to attend the Brain Trust 2017, please register here.

The following organizations are teaming up with VA as official Brain Trust 2017 partners: Amazon, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cohen Veteran Bioscience, Comcast, Concussion Legacy Foundation, GE, IBM, Infinite Hero Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Optum, Outward Bound, PenFed Foundation, Philips, and the Warrior Care Network.

To learn more about Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion, please visit: www.vabraintrust.com and the public can register to attend online. Follow the conversation on social media with #VABrainTrust.

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Media Contact:
Stacy Grisinger, Elevate Communications: sgrisinger@elevatecom.com or 617-861-3654
Elizabeth Raflowitz, Elevate Communications: eraflowitz@elevatecom.com or 203-260-5373