Bill to Enable DOE & VA to Collaborate

The “Department of Energy Veterans’ Health Initiative Act” https://www.congress.gov  was introduced by Representative Ralph Norman https://norman.house.gov and co-sponsored by joint Veterans Affairs and Science Committee members on July 13, 2018.

The bill would authorize the Department of Energy (DOE) https://www.energy.gov to conduct collaborative research with the Veterans Administration (VA) https://www.va.gov to solve complex big data challenges that focus on veteran’s healthcare and basic science.

The legislation would promote collaborative research by establishing partnerships to improve data sharing between federal agencies, national laboratories, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit institutions

The bill also authorizes a two year cross-cutting research pilot program to advance research in artificial intelligence, data analytics, and computational research. The pilot program would support DOE’s efforts to improve the analysis and interpretation of big data challenges to meet the nuclear security, energy, and science goals for DOE.

DOE and  VA are collaborating through the “Million Veterans Computational Health Analytics for Medical Precision to Improve Outcomes Now” program https://www.ornal.gov/sites/default/files/VA%20050817.pdf.

Through this initiative, the VA collects genomic and healthcare data from veterans who volunteer for the program. The VA then provides this data to DOE where it is stored in a secure site at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory https://www.ornl.gov.

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