Veterans' Health Records

Veterans Affairs just announced a partnership with Department of Energy (DOE) using artificial intelligence and big-data solutions to analyze veterans’ health records.

VA is rolling out the new partnership, called the VA-DOE Big Data Science Initiative, to cull through mountains of data points using artificial intelligence and supercomputing resources only available at DOE and not VA.

The VA press release highlights VA’s “unparalleled health data trend information” only available through the agencies cataloging of 24 million veterans’ health records. The initiative also stands to make use of genomic data from the Million Veteran Program (MVP).

Are Veterans’ Health Records Databases Worth Big Bucks?

Ever wonder how valuable our health data is in the hands of private industry? Is VA charging a licensing fee for access to it? If not, why not?

For all my computer vets out there, what do you think of this move? What do you suppose can be done with all the data? And, is VA capable of keeping our private identifiable information private?

Here is the full VA press release:

VA partners with Department of Energy on big-data initiative to improve health care for Veterans

WASHINGTON — Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the formation of a new partnership focused on the secure analysis of large digital health and genomic data, or so-called “big data,” from the VA and other federal sources to help advance health care for Veterans and others in areas such as suicide prevention, cancer and heart disease, while also driving DOE’s next-generation supercomputing designs.

Known as the VA-DOE Big Data Science Initiative, the partnership will be based within DOE’s National Laboratory system, one of the world’s top resources for supercomputing. The effort will leverage the latest DOE expertise and technologies in big data, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing to identify trends that will support the development of new treatments and preventive strategies.

“VA has developed unparalleled health data trend information from some 24 million Veterans who have used VA for health care over the past two decades,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “We are partnering with DOE to use their high-performance computing capabilities to allow thousands of researchers access to this unprecedented data resource over time in a secure environment. The transformative science that will be developed through this partnership will improve health care for Veterans and all Americans.”  

DOE high-performance computing represents the state of the art in global computer science, involving machines capable of millions of billions of calculations per second.

VA takes privacy seriously and has ensured all reasonable safeguards are in place to protect the records at the DOE National Laboratory.

“Driving innovation through our national laboratories in ways that can improve Veterans’ health care is a remarkable opportunity,” said DOE Secretary Rick Perry. “I look forward to working together to shape this VA-DOE partnership.”

One part of the new initiative is MVP-CHAMPION— short for the Million Veteran Program (MVP) Computational Health Analytics for Medical Precision to Improve Outcomes Now. MVP, VA’s landmark genomics program, has already enrolled more than 560,000 Veteran volunteers, who have provided DNA samples; completed surveys about their health, lifestyle and military experiences; and granted secure access to their electronic health records for research purposes. The partnership with DoE will maximize the impact of studies using MVP data.

Along with data from MVP and VA’s electronic health records system, the new VA-DOE program will use health data from the Department of Defense, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Center for Disease Control’s National Death Index. 

An initial suite of specific studies that are part of VA-DOE Big Data Science Initiative is already being planned. One aims to build algorithms to generate highly tailored personalized risk scores for suicide. The scores could be used by VA clinicians and researchers to help predict which patients are at the highest risk, and to evaluate prevention strategies. The researchers will work with VA’s Office of Suicide Prevention to enhance current algorithms already in use in VA.

Another project focused on prostate cancer will seek new ways to tell which tumors are lethal versus nonlethal cancer and require treatment, and, by contrast, others that are slow growing and unlikely to cause any symptoms. Yet another study will explore what sets of risk factors are the best predictors of certain forms of cardiovascular disease to inform individualized therapy and treatments for patients based on their individual risk factors.

For more information on MVP, informatics and VA research in general, visit www.research.va.gov.

Source: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2896

Disgruntled Veteran

Following.

Disgruntled Veteran

Nerve pain cause failure to check notification blocks.
Second attempt. Following.

Jo3n

If the information the VA puts in is true, accurate, and some directives didn’t tell Dr.’s just falsify the input, if.. Who said that the VA can use our information? Where does the money go? What’s Dr. Shulkin’s share/bonus? I just don’t trust.

JackO

The VA is permitted to use your information. ALL hospitals have you sign their terms of agreement which include sharing data for purposes of research, insurance, contractors and I think one other I can’t remember right now. You probably just don’t recall the paperwork you signed upon your first visit or exam. Whenever possible the information shared is aggregate data.

Seymore Klearly

That is utter Bullshit “Dawn/JackO”. Althought they do try to ask research subjects to sign an information sharing release. It is in no way a standard procedure to ask for the release.

91Veteran

I too call bullshit on that. I cannot think of a single research study in which access to health records is allowed by some bullshit generic agreement, without the subject knowing what the research is for.

So if you used the VA and signed this paperwork, and 10 years later the VA uses your data in an HIV study without your agreement, you say that is OK?

namnibor

I’m just guessing here but I am thinking “JackO” wears a funny hat in the VA swamp.

Seymore Klearly
Don’t like it. It means the DOE will be maintaining separate research Medical records for every Veteran and the likely hood that we will ever be able to access those research files is null. They state “We are partnering with DOE to use their high-performance computing capabilities to allow thousands of researchers access to this unprecedented data resource over time in a secure environment.” I have recently seen some of the bogus research coming out of DOE’s National Laboratory system… Read more »
ShadowTokers

Swish lol!! Nothing but net

JackO

Yes – I totally agree with this statement. Hopefully the current medical providers will continue the work using the information, not creating a false result like the DOE tends to do. Too much is at stake here to be making up false results. I’d really hope that the integrity of the researchers on behalf of the VA continue. There are some great studies done by the VA (or others using their information).

Seymore Klearly

Bullshit JackO

Seymore Klearly

*************That should read Bullshit “Dawn/JackO”*************

Crazy elf

“BULLSHIT JackO”
I never signed anything which would allow VA to use my medical records in a way you just described!
Go back to your rabbit hole!

Rick Lipary

You forgot the two f’s after O! You are bought-and-paid, Jack-O!

91Veteran
ABSOLUTE HORSESHIT! Out of the $200 million spent over 20 years by VA and DOD researchers on Gulf War Illnesses, can you point to a single one that produced a treatment for Gulf War vets? A diagnosis? A cause? Out of that $200 million, how many studies in the VA portfolio are duplicate studies by the same researchers taking turns at being the lead author, and peer reviewing themselves where their conclusions say all Gulf War ailments are caused by… Read more »
Mr. James Franklin Moore, Sr.
I too cry “Bull Shit” cause no one has ever giving me a copy of any document I’ve sign on that desk-pad they have there for you to sign…. I’ve reminded them of the Federal Law(s) of the law about me/us being given a hard copy of what we are about too sign… Their reply, we’ll put a copy in your records, my thoughts’ are at the time, look dip-stick, if I’d wanted a copy in my records instead of… Read more »
Angela

Believe it is a hoax. It is all about money. I would have to really see facts before I would ever have a different perspective. I have about had it with this government and this country.

91Veteran

Good post Seymore. Interesting how long Dr. Nass’ research has stood against any other study, but years later, in 2015 no less, this hack publishes his report based on theory?

Did it really take them this long to come up with that brain fart?

ShadowTokers

VHA is so far removed from true and honest medical fact finding initiatives due to falsifying electronic health records, it would be another waste of taxpayer dollars to hope for different results. The very definition of insanity. The only difference this go around would be the level of scapegoat, and of course its DOE classification. Will look into exploits to answer PII/PHI data exchange question at a later date, always a way into cybereverything.

Donald Avant
Do we REALLY need ANOTHER BIG BROTHER collecting and archiveing data that we will probably never have access to? RE: VA takes privacy seriously and has ensured all reasonable safeguards are in place to protect the records at the DOE National Laboratory. Yea Right…heard that before… RE: “VA has developed unparalleled health data trend information from some 24 million Veterans who have used VA for health care over the past two decades,” If this is true why did it take… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran

@Donald Avant – – – I believe the VA when they say they ““VA has developed unparalleled health data trend information from some 24 million Veterans who have used VA for health care over the past two decades.”

I just do not believe they have the slightest clue as how to use that data to benefit the veterans that VA is supposed to be serving.

91Veteran

Hell the DOE can’t even keep their nuke secrets secret. Wasn’t it Los Alamos that had quite a scandal over some Chinese national downloading nuke secrets and taking them home?

Disgruntled Veteran
Good Article, Ben. Dr. Meryl Nass, to my mind is one of the most morally honest researchers on the planet. As soon as I saw her name in Seymore Klearly’s comment, I was immediately reminded of the fine work she did along with Doctors Garth and Nancy Nicolson back in the ’90’s and early 2000’s. Research that has helped thousands of veterans who heeded what they had to say. I have shared in previous comments the story of my “personal”… Read more »
Vic

GIGO is what you have using VA medical records for anything.

What would help is if the VA employees learning ‘military, they think that being curt means we’re mad.

Crazy elf
What do I think? That’s easy, In one word = “SCAM!” The ‘data’ entered into the computer, has to be accurate! The VHA healthcare providers are widely known for entering false information! Since computers were first designed and built, false data has caused misinformation to be thrown back out. The old saying comes to mind; “Garbage in, Garbage out!” How many of the so-called “…enrolled more than 560,000 Veteran volunteers…”, are actually “volunteers”? Plus, the article claims around “…24 million…”… Read more »
Crazy elf

P.S.
I’m not a “super computer whiz kid”! Every one on here knows that!

It’s just my opinion, that *IF* VA is involved in this, its got to be a scam to rip off the American Taxpayer!
The VA has been known, for decades, for NOT telling the truth! What makes this any different!!!!!!

Crazy elf

P.P.S.
Here’s a thought.
What if veterans could use this scam for our benefit?!
Let me explain;
All this information, being downloaded into a supercomputer has to be accurate information.
We veterans know that is more likely than not going to be the case!
So, if veterans are harmed by this scam, could veterans take legal action against:
Dept. of Energy (DOE) *or*
The VA *or* both agencies?

Just a thought!

Gretchen R
I agree with Crazy elf: “Garbage in equals garbage out” when it comes to analyzing data. I’m a retired computer professional, and that is the first thing that was taught. VA staff take no pride about VA medical record accuracy, especially when it come to making secret (undiscused) entries concerning drug and alcohol use. Suicidal events are worse: VA staff just make up their own version of what the vet did and why, to suit VA’s needs. The more lethal… Read more »
91Veteran
Crazy Elf, I believe the VA for years has thought they are sitting on a gold mine with this data, and are just trying to figure out how to sell it…without looking like their sole focus is money. I believe there will be exorbitant fees charged to access this data, with percentages to be split between the VA and whoever they convince to do this. Hell they can’t account for the budget they are given much less the millions that… Read more »
Dennis
So, the VA which has been characterized by uncountable numbers of Americans as being out of control and capable and succesful at fucking up nearly everything they have been tasked to do, now seeks out a partnership to do so at computational speeds only capable of the enormous calculating potential of the supercomputers the governments uses to simulate conditions inside of a nuclear reaction while it is underway, irregardless of if the operation is for producing steam for generators or… Read more »
91Veteran

Good points Dennis. I prefer if the VA has to fuck things up, they do it at the speed of an old Commodore 64 with faulty RAM.

Does this mean their fucks ups will look like mushroom clouds?

141FE

Awesome retort. I believe you should print this and send it to every member of Congress. You know this isn’t even on their radar right now. But, with a few well placed/worded letters of inquiry you might get them talking about – yes, I’m having an optimist moment, forgive me. But, yes well opined!!

namnibor
What’s next, a corporate crap monitor (CCM) on Veteran’s toilets to determine how toilet paper manufacturers should make future toilet paper based on Veteran’s eating habits? How about a corporate pillow monitor (CPM) on Veteran’s mattresses to determine how our lack of sleep because of PTSD affects the cushiness of particular pillows? How about a corporate bodybag monitor (CBM) on Veteran’s bodybags to determine just how many weeks can go by before said bodybag explodes in order to reduce labor… Read more »
namnibor

I can just see some VA hack asking the Dept. Of Energy folks, “So, what if we feed all Veterans Plutonium and see what happens when two Veterans come together. We fusion take place before the Veteran dies a horrible death? Can it be improved upon to make living tissue fusion possible?

Yeah, the VA *anywhere near* nuclear crap could very well mean the end of mankind in the making.

HELL NO!

OLDMARINE
to help advance health care for Veterans and others in areas such as suicide prevention, cancer and heart disease, I CALL ALL THAT BULLSHIT. MORE DATA SO THEY CAN FIND MORE WAYS TO KILL YOU. AND YOUR RIGHT ELF WHICH IS IT 560,000 OR 24 MILLION …high-performance computing capabilities to allow thousands of researchers access to this unprecedented data resource over time in a secure environment..MORE DNA RESEARCH TO SEE IF THE GMO FOODS AND VACCINES ARE DOING WHAT THEY… Read more »
namnibor
You all know that this crap does not fly and work with Social Security and Medicare selling USA citizen’s medical data to highest bidder because….the American Taxpayer has such strong advocates as AARP for one, and NAACP and others that would say a resounding….HELL NO! We Veterans are very low-hanging fruit because the VA KNOWS they have Veterans by the balls by our dependence on VA benefits and healthcare. The U.S. Gov’t. is ALLOWING this to take place, make no… Read more »
namnibor
Last thought from an insider at ‘The Muppet Show’s Muppet Labs’: “What the Dept. Of Energy is getting in exchange for helping the VA is a very special codependent partnership of gov’t agencies. In the event of a USA based Chernobyl Meltdown event, able-bodies will be needed to go into the hot zone to procure sensitive corporate data left behind. This is where our brave Veterans will be utilized to procure this data. But just how would you get a… Read more »
namnibor

Maybe the DOE needs to check the plutonium pellets the VA gave us during a lab visit or disguised in the VA’s Pharmacy Formulary?

In A Mood.

91Veteran

…or the health effects of millions of veterans exposed to DU in the Middle East.

Dennis
Let me quote my favorite American speech; “Citizenship In A Republic”. Before you read this let me tell you that the passage was spoken by an American President long ago, about a war long past and the warriors who fought it. This President was speaking directly about United States veterans. After you read this, ask yourself “Can any machine understand what these simple words mean? Could ANY machine ever describe a human being this way? Could any machine desribe a… Read more »
Crazy elf

“Teddy Roosevelt” knew more than people gave him credit for!
He was a “Man for all men!”

141FE

Nice! Dennis your my fav.

Crazy elf

Do y’all want to read a great, uplifting, article?
This was published today, from “military.com/Daily News”
dated: 1 May 2017
Titled;

“Horseman Rides Across US to Bring Attention to Agent Orange!”

via:
Associated Press | by John Rogers

It’s going to take about two months to accomplish his task. I believe y’all will like this story!

OLDMARINE
I JUST READ THIS ON HEALTH.MIL if you broke your arm, came down with pneumonia, or your child had a severe earache, you wouldn’t think twice about going to the doctor and getting treatment. Maintaining our health and receiving effective treatment for ourselves and our loved ones is a duty and responsibility. But what if the injury isn’t accompanied by physical pain, an x-ray finding, or an abnormal lab test? What is our duty and responsibility when it comes to… Read more »
fred locke
Someday a book /documentary is going to be released regarding some new drug or medical breakthrough that resulted from this VA-DOE Big Data Science Initiative research by the many research scientists and scholars. Of course the veteran community will not be properly compensated. I am enclosing some more news articles and information readers of this blog might find useful. I am sure these articles are off topic–therefore I apologize. 1) I think the case of Eric Loomis is important. He… Read more »
Lem

Will only work on records of the last 20 years at the most. The older veterans still getting shit on as far as care. WWII veterans did O K for a while. While the country still remembered Pearl Harbor from personal memory not history books.

The country doesn’t see any war since then as a threat to their livelihood and therefore those veterans don’t count.

Seymore Klearly
“Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson snared in growing pursuit of personal email”, By Alex Swoyer – The Washington Times – Monday, May 1, 2017 “http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/may/1/jeh-johnsons-personal-email-use-at-dhs-snared-in-g/” Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has dug through more than 26,000 emails from his personal account, trying to figure out which of those were government business that he should have turned over to the government as official records, the Justice Department told a federal court Monday. Three of Mr. Johnson’s top aides also… Read more »
141FE

The majority of the population doesn’t even realize we’re at war now and have been since 2002. Several times in the last couple years, while in uniform I’ve been asked if I was a security guard a flight attendant and the bewildered, what are you?. The majority of GENPOP don’t even recognize their own country’s military uniform.

LP

Off topic
On a different thread I posted that I had finally gotten the VA to get me an appt with neuro…they fucking failed again and used the same tactics of Omission to tell me about only healthier portions of my back. When I asked the rest, the nerve roots, the shit bag ended the visit…now I’m supposed to go through PT and pain management. Again. Like the last 14yrs!! FUUUCK

OLDMARINE

sounds like me LP i have a cyst on my spinal cord on my neck and tell me its nothing more than arthritis and never go by the older MRI’S that shows the problem. thats why if i sleep on my left side i get migraine headaches and my left arm goes numb…never want to send me to a neurologist. oh what great health care we get …

Seymore Klearly

Does anyone else note how truly amazing it is that the DOE computers can accept the database containing all Veterans Health records and even the dysfunctional Russian owned and operated Flow Health had computer access that could the database.

But the VA and Department of Defense could not share the database or for that matter the VAs computers were not interoperable between VAMCs in different regions. Even though each year the VA has been spending Billions to achieve the goal.

91Veteran

Well, in one instance the VA can make millions. In the other, they may have to pay out millions.

Pretty clear numbers to a corrupt bureaucrat.

Rick B
I think no good will come of this. I believe that veterans personal information will be compromised. As to the actual records themselves, they are already garbage because garbage is input every time we use the VA. Examples of this garbage are questions like: Do you feel safe in you home, Do you feel depressed, and all the other form filling questions that the VA employee fills in on each of our appointments. Most of the time the veteran never… Read more »
Lem
Depends on the “program.” My bank account is disconnected from the bank on its reports. When they search for my overdraft it will eventually come back to my account and notify me. When I pay an online purchase with my credit card it goes through a separate program which pays the supplier. The supplier only gets my shipping information not my CC number. These separations protect me and enable me to do my online banking and online purchases. Yes, they… Read more »
91Veteran
Rick B, I do the same when trying to address a medical record error. I send them a secure message. I also take screen shots of the message sent, and any replies, then email them to myself on my own personal account, just in case my secure messaging suddenly disappears. In the case of my records being falsified, I sent a detailed letter describing every line of the record that was false to the Privacy Officer asking them to correct… Read more »
Seymore Klearly

44 61 77 6e 2f 54 6f 6e 79 2f 4c 69 6c 79 2f 4a 61 63 6b 4f 20 0d 0a 0d 0a 41 6c 6c 20 74 68 65 20 73 61 6d 65 20 74 72 6f 6c 6c 21 21 21

Rick b

Seymore ,

I wish I could see more clearly the meaning of your numbers…

Disgruntled Veteran

@Seymore – – – Roger that. Thank You.

Crazy elf

Here’s a scenario I want an opinion on.
First, This new thing VA wants to couple with the DOE over. How much of taxpayers monies will it cost?
Secondly, The new budget of $1 TRILLION DOLLARS was just passed yesterday, allegedly, to keep the government going until September 31, 2017. The end of the 2016-2017 fiscal year!
Third – How many want to bet the VA will be back in front of Congress, asking for MORE taxpayers monies before 1 September 2017?!?!?!

Dennis

@Crazy elf

Fourth – who the hell granted Constituional Authority for one cabinet to join resources with another for Gods Sake! Who the hell decided that the core idea within our Constituion of separation of powers was no longer the firewall we needed against tyrany?

(hint: it wasn’t Thomas Jefferson)

Jo3n
They are going to do it anyway, or not. Since Dr Shulkin has been in charge, I have heard a lot about the VA, and how great they are going to be. My personal VA experience doesn’t reflect all this gibberish I keep hearing. My situation is deteriorating with the VA. Is anything the VA is doing, helping Veterans? Sure appears to be all about the VA, and the same crap for the Veterans. I still have no idea what’s… Read more »
91Veteran

Jo3n, any update on that quack prison doctor?

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