To help better coordinate health care for veterans of the U.S. military, MetLife brought together more than 75 technologists for a 32-hour “TechJam,” a contest to create an open source electronic health record solution. Inspiration for the event came from MetLife Wall, a MongoDB-based application that brings together customer data from more than 70 systems.

“The ideas and technologies that emerged out of the TechJam are a tremendous advancement into our ongoing efforts to improve veteran data management,” said Joe Paiva, chief technology strategist, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Veterans need a system that can help them be informed, active participants in their medical care. In order to achieve this, veterans need a system that helps break down the silos that can hinder them from receiving the most comprehensive and coordinated care possible.

The VA’s current system, called Blue Button, enables veterans to download their personal health information into a text file from their My HealtheVet account. However, the tremendous volume of veteran medical data and records, typically spread between different physicians and across VA’s 1,500 facilities, poses a unique challenge for the VA.

More streamlined coordination of health care would likely improve health outcomes for patients, especially those with chronic conditions, Metlife said, as those patients typically work with multiple physicians to manage their health. As many as 80 percent of Americans over age 65 suffer from one or more chronic condition and nearly half have multiple chronic illnesses, Metlife said. More than 44 percent of veterans are 65 or older, and the VA has been challenged, Metlife said, by fragmented data across its health system.

“MetLife is dedicated to innovative approaches to technology solutions, and we believe that the data-driven solutions created at the TechJam will deliver invaluable benefits to veterans and others,” said Gary Hoberman, MetLife CIO and SVP of regional application development. “We are proud to have brought together some of the brightest minds in technology to help facilitate faster and easier sharing of vital health information, enable coordinated care and ultimately better the lives of our nation’s veterans.”

A panel of judges selected team Infusion, comprised of Stephen Jakisa, Peter Newhook, Matt Pavelko, Noah Santorello, as the overall winner.

Individual category winners:

- Data integration and augmentation: Awesome Nighthawks: Hunter Enoch, Scott Ilkenhons, Noah Morgan, Christian Matson

- User experience: DB Global Technology Cary: Venkatavasishta Chemudupati, Sarah Kahn, Nick Mason, James Pujals, Aditya Samant, Vish Sonagara

- Predictive analysis: Islington Green: James Dixon, Ian Cillay, David Green, Ian Henshaw

- Mobile: vCare: Srinivasa Raaghavan Ramanuja Seshaadri, Sumit Bhattacharjee Bhattacharjee, Indranath Bhattacharya, Sushil Sahoo, Anirban Banerjee, Bhartarshabh Katiyar

The judges included:

- Joe Paiva, chief technology strategist, Department of Veterans Affairs

- Harold Kudler, MD, associate director – clinical, Department of Veterans Affairs

- Marty Lippert, EVP, head of global technology & operations, MetLife

- Gary Hoberman, SVP and CIO of regional application development, MetLife

- Charles Coleman, senior executive, IBM

- Brian Harry, technical fellow, Microsoft

- Gregory Hopper, office of the CTO - strategic planning team, NetApp, and adjunct professor, Duke University

- Dennis Kekas, associate vice chancellor, North Carolina State University

“Few companies have been able to offer a solution that takes into account the complexity of the VA system, so we are thrilled at the opportunity to enhance our veterans’ lives with this technology,” Paiva said. “These solutions will be revolutionary for both medical providers who serve our vets and veterans themselves.”

The MetLife TechJam brought together technologists from local universities and tech companies, including IBM, DB Global Technology, Cognizant, Tata Consultancy Services, and Duke University. In organizing the event, MetLife was supported by Microsoft, Infusion and MongoDB, which offered the software and technology for the creation of the applications and also served as onsite mentors, assisting and collaborating with the competitors. Veracode, another technology partner, will offer a second chance prize for most secure solution in the coming weeks.

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