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Local Biotech Company offers $10,000 Prize To Help Vets

A San Diego company is offering a $10,000 prize for the best wireless application for veterans with health problems.

New veterans are eager for the new technology, because many young veterans only use mobile phones and not land lines. That’s a disadvantage because the VA San Diego Medical Center only uses home phones for their Telehealth program. The program, allows doctors to monitor a vet’s medical data like blood pressure, or blood sugar remotely.

So, the Department of Veterans Affairs created the Innovation Initiative, to encourage inventors to create wireless devices that will give veterans easier access to care.

The initiative grabbed the attention of La Jolla’s West Wireless Health Institute, which has offered $10, 000 for an original wireless device, application or sensor that improves veteran health care and access to their health care provider.

David Haas is a coordinator of the My Health Vet web program at the VA San Diego Medical Center. He says the VA is currently working on a mobile health device.

“We are in the very very early stages of testing a mobile app which will allow patients to use their mobile devices—it could be an iPhone, Android or Blackberry. It’s a step toward giving access to medical care to people in rural areas.”

Right now, Haas says about 400 veterans use San Diego’s VA Telehealth system each day.

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