VA is running a pilot program with NeuroFlow as part of the Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer grant to treat the “whole person” using mental health technology.

The platform initiative is called IntegrateHealth. With that tool, NeuroFlow says it can inject behavioral health information into normal VA medical settings for primary care. One goal is to assist in decisionmaking when doctors prescribe antidepressants and pain medication.

A Forbes op-ed spinning the technology said the benefit “could mean changes in how VA doctors prescribe medications such as antidepressants and opioids, as well as less paper for physicians, less visits for patients, and greater education for everyone about the interconnected issues underlying holistic veteran health.”

The National Science Foundation, a $7 billion independent federal agency, is working to integrate care to improve outcomes and lower medical costs. Through the program America’s Seed Fund, NSF is issuing mandated awards totaling $200 million annually to startups. NeuroFlow is part of that initiative working at “de-risking” trials of the technology.

Have you ever heard of “de-risking” trials for technology? What could they be “de-risking”?

A few things jumped out at me about the technology that raises concerns about privacy and mental health records. Generally, VA tells us they segment mental health records from our electronic health records. For us laypeople, it sounds like the IntegrateHealth system will integrate the two forms of records by creating a behavioral health model.

Should the trial go well and meet benchmarks, NeuroFlow would be eligible for a Phase II grant of $750,000. The study at that stage would evaluate the commercial impact across veteran medical centers. This tells you the technology is focused on cost savings.

Could it also be used to closely evaluate the disability ratings of veterans receiving both benefits and health care from the agency?

RELATED: VA, DOD Not Sure Who Is In Charge Of Cerner Rollout

Director Barry Johnson, head of the NSF Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships said, “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”

The company is predicted to integrate “seamlessly” within the new Cerner EHR system VA is paying tens of billions to create over the next few years.

RELATED: VA Awards Staggering $22 Billion IT Deal

NeuroFlow is a veteran owned by Iraq War veteran Christopher Molaro, a Bronze Star recipient. “This is a huge opportunity to demonstrate how technology and remote monitoring capabilities can enhance the way providers integrate and collaborate behavioral health care in an evidence-based fashion,” he says. “We have grown 10x this year so far, which has been amazing and we are honored to be considered a valuable tool to so many clinics and health systems. But personally, for me, since I served as a U.S. Army Captain, to work with the VA and to serve my fellow Veterans is not only something I take as a big responsibility, but it is a mission I am proud to be on.”

So, what do you think? Is this a good move? Are there risks that outweigh the benefits?

For the sleuths out there, please take a look at this technology, the company, and its long-term uses. Who buys it and why? Report back here with what you find.

Molaro is a U Penn Wharton grad from 2017. At the beginning of 2018, his new startup secured $1.25 million to grow the company. That is where I pulled the photo, above.

One of the company’s first projects was creating wearables to help treat PTSD:

Neuroflow uses wearables to measure the physical effects of stress, and quantify them in a way that is useful to therapists who are treating people for severe anxiety and stress. For the first time, therapists can use quantifiable measurements to see if their therapies are working—and adjust for maximum effectiveness.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. At face value, the emerging technology described in this article (with proper management/development) could be a HUGE boon to PTSD and Anxiety sufferers.

    Wearables are becoming commonplace in our society today. My Casio GPRB-1000 watch is a prime example. Would not go anywhere without it.

    There are those who would make the argument that ‘this would be just another way for you to be tracked’. Partially true. For this therapy to be effective, the monitoring and transmission capabilities of the device would necessarily have to include general location info. Think cell tower triangulation versus GPS precision.

    Having said that, I am for the exploring of all new technology that may in future years help disabled veterans to live a more normal life. For far too long, not having physically measurable standards for Mental Health has hurt far more patients than it has helped. This has the potential to be a game changer.

    The problem that I have with this project is will it be properly managed by the VA system given their stellar record of management fuck-ups that many of us have borne witness to for many decades?

    I have zero level of confidence for that to happen.

  2. The benefit compensation wise is it will show better that two disability ratings of 30% each combined to 50% under the presumed TDIU will now be shown that each separately are not employment interfering to the degree that when they are combined in one body.

    Lot of potential benefits. Only the malingerers need fear the monitoring. The people that need compensation will be in much better position. Example: Temporal Lobe Seizures such as I have will be picked up much easier and sooner. Likely many forms of cancer also.

    So, should we give that up because of privacy for STDS, (especially AIDS) patients and the fakers for compensation? I’ll never forget that the PTSD group I first attended dropped from over 20 to 3 following the one year qualification for the Agent Orange pay out. Would have rather seen those who were poisoned get more. Now even blue water navy is trying to get qualified. Don’t get me wrong. Those that handled ship board loading stood a chance of getting poisoned as opposed to exposed if they didn’t hit the shower immediately on a full strength exposure. And the Navy didn’t provide the training the AG Department did for 2-4D (the primary ingredient in Agent Orange).

    • I disagree Lem concerning who needs to “fear the monitoring”. Very frequently, VA doctors and nurses enter erroneous information into the record about the impact of one’s disabilities. These statements are not often reviewed or even known by the patient until years later when challenges to the erroneous information may prove more difficult due to lack of timeliness.

      Another issue here, in talking with a colleague, is that the company will access our mental health records… without explicit consent from the veteran. That information will then be scraped to provide real time data to doctors prescribing medications. While I can see the benefit, I also see an erosion of our right to privacy within the context of our mental health records.

      Is it possible that the lack of privacy will result in veterans not trusting their own providers? Who would benefit from veterans’ trust in providers being diminished?

      What do the VSOs have to say about this type of use of our mental health records?

      • We can trust no one. I am more than proof for that logical thought product.

        VSOs? They are going to follow the herd and what benefits them. Their track records over the years exposes what they are mostly about. They will side with the liars and propagandist to remain in good standing with whatever it is they bow to. Our individual concerns and needs are a total ‘conflict of interest’ with their agendas, unions to the activist. “Our hands are tied.” Yeah, I bet they are.

      • Here’s some more info on the tracking and ‘ransom ware’ or retaliation gaming.

        Got a call, like many other kinds of calls. 855-620-3756. Telling me I needed to renew my computers, cell phone, and MSoft licensing keys or else I’d lose connections and uses. I didn’t do as requested… or threatened. None of which are “bundled.”

        Odd how some of those Pakistani sounding idiots knew I wasn’t at home nor in front of my desk top pc. I told one I didn’t do business on my cell. He said when I got home to call them back and get on my pc so they could guide me through the process to “renew my keys.” I could have been home on my cell. I asked about it… click. Then came calls from more 812-147-3901 like numbers. Invalid numbers. Busy signals when dialed back.

        Damn it’s fun playing in this new America with all the high technology, the many activist, “identity politics,’ and assorted ass-hats and barf bags.

      • You are correcto, Ben, cuz when the privacy falls the squirrels will gather our nuts. Have seen it happen where, when you have a legitimate medical complaint, the provider assumes “it’s all in yer head, kid, just get back in there and play hard! Hey, kid, don’t forget yer prescription I just wrote you for more Thorazine. Hey kid you are getting fat and you have a daze about you. Next “crazy” vet please…………………
        Hey, my bonus come yet?!

      • Experienced your concern, Ben. But if other professionals had had access to my file instead of Rating Officers who wanted a quick close and VSO Representatives had known a little about temporal lobe seizures, I wouldn’t be fighting now to get an erroneous diagnosis of “pseudo seizures” removed from my file.

        Also, the erroneous treatment with the wrong medication would much more likely have been found and corrected even before I had to self discontinue it.

        I agree, everyone should be allowed to opt in or out. But for most of us opting in is the right choice.

        It is not all deliberate. I only have 3 correct medical histories taken out of hundreds. And two of those were by the same Doctor, one of which she wrote from memory without my file while I confirmed the history.

        There are good doctors out there. The more that see our files the better off we are and the more likely our files will be updated with correct information.

      • Biggest point is the obvious that is in the file if it is fully reviewed as it is supposed to be by qualified C & P Examiners. My next one I’ll wear a recorder and as the physician to tell me I’m wrong about some copies I have from my file.

    • I’m not a malingerer & you won’t catch me dead wearing shit for the VA… are you nuts?!!! The VA’s mission in life is to destroy vets & you’re really sitting there saying only malingerers need to fear…. 🙄 So are you like a lobbyist or do you work for VA or do you work for the startup? I’m calling red flag BS on you.

      • I’ve had just as bad of experiences with U S Private care as with the VA. And the potential is worse. I was working in a Catholic hospital in Waukegan, Ill, in 1965 moonlighting nights on the weekends. A couple of physicians walked into the canteen while I was on a break. One was saying to the other that he had seen his dream boat at the marina but didn’t quite have enough for the down payment. Would you believe it, he said, Monday three hysterectomies walked into my office. The boat is mine tomorrow.

        Yes, I have a record problem with the VA. And I’m suing for mistreatment. Currently in Appeal at the 10th Circuit and the CAVC. And that is because of unauthorized experimental therapy for temporal lobe seizures that I wasn’t made aware of. (Only thing that makes sense for a 5 month treatment with Tegretol that the physician wouldn’t change drugs when the drug was contraindicated for the type of seizures he had diagnosed and he had ignored my sensitivity to amitriptyline.

        But I’d rather take my chances with a surgeon who doesn’t get any more for doing the surgery than not than trust a fee based surgeon. We have a Choice Molly. You make yours and I’ll make mine.

        I don’t remember any females in the PTSD group I wrote about. You have a guilty conscience or something? I named no names. Just the situation that exists.

        And the monitoring will be done by physicians that are flat rate per patient not filling their operating schedule out. Good luck with your private care. Wish you the best.

    • && that’s why you shouldn’t use VA Lem. No vet should use VA except to get a rating but don’t use VHA only use the VBA side & submit your own private civ records which VA can’t touch or change. Then you have no worries about lies in your file. Civs don’t act like that know why? Because you can sue the shit out of them. Because you have rights in the civ world whereas you have to give up all rights while dealing with VA.

  3. “Holistic veterans care?” What BS. Will names or social status types names be “pulled out of hat” to ensure this technology functions or is reported as positive, totally positive, safe, secure? More of those secretive life surrendering contracts to sign but then they claim doesn’t exist? Just like other VA accepted treatments and prescribed acceptables according to them, their strict list of treatments allowed, and the new fashioned medical establishments and boards. We’d still be dealing with all the conflicts or interest or MD having to follow VA and medical board’s, and college’s instructions or “influences.” I think some better look up the definition of “holistic” while those practitioners are being killed or dying off fast. Oh and medical schools do NOT teach ‘holistic’ medicine or healing. Mention that concept only brought laughter and strange looks.

    Isn’t this going along with the security “Biometrics” (NWO/Police state) to the eye scans for better security claims so many are reporting, or not reporting much on. We are on those “domestic terrorist lists” still today.

    Will this lead to shock therapies, strange occurrences of some phony charge or need for ’emergency detention’ or being shot? Big bucks and support went out for that too. Or ‘biofeedback’ that was a cure all for some and also raked in support and big bucks along with a long line of staff hired to play the games.

    Anyone paying attention to the many countless grants going to medical schools/colleges for all the high tech studies or “integrating” projects into medical school affiliations with the VA or civy hospitals near by? Paying attention to who are brought in to work in positions of all this ‘high technology” Americans are said to be under-qualified for or too stupid.

    “https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/neuroflow#section-overview”

    HIPPA compliant but those dealing with major health care quacks and retaliation aren’t protected under HIPPA or the Dis Act of 1970 and zero representation under any of it or the retaliations in place.
    “http://www2.philly.com/philly/business/mental-health-tech-start-up-neuroflow-raises-1-2m-20180910.html” More BS and claims.

    Oh who to trust! Those profiteers, the censors, promoters, PR firms, marketers, etc? Surely any ‘silent partners or investors’ won’t be for “public consumption.”
    “https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/neuroflow#section-funding-rounds”

    “https://www.grantwatch.com/grant/183402/grants-to-usa-investigators-for-research-addressing-mental-health-conditions.html”

    What about the down-side and warnings about the 5 G tech coming out? Not a mere conspiracy. Nor is it thinking this high tech is not much different than tracking ankle bracelets for criminals. Just has a medical twist put on it. Nothing new at all really, been in the planning for years. Which some of us were told we are “criminals” or will be for needing pain meds or better care from the VA and activist staff.

    How about those of us who have “unusual” metabolic complaints or issues? By VA and civy standards according to socialist styled medicine we are all to be treated the same not as individuals. Pain med issues prove that. Anxiety/plus, Thyroid, hormone, or diabetic or sugar issues? Yep better shoot those idiots down while claims are being made LEOs are being trained to spot mental issues or health problems before shooting. Yeah, right. Get the stink eye and end up in E-detention, abused, harmed. Or shot. More BS and that training is in schools today too but the public is supposed to be ignorant of such things and the tactics used to gain info from the kiddies and ensure all are PC and good little peasants. Forced anti-depressants, or encouraged that has caused countless deaths and suicides. High tech will cure it all. Yeah, right. And they all, ALL, are getting big $$, grants, over-time pay for trainings, etc. Never ending cycles of horse crap and propaganda. And the stock holders, money junkies, socialist, long list of tyrants are pleased as pleased can be.

    All I need is back on what it took years to find an acceptable zone for living and quality of life. Simple. Oh no can’t have that they have to throw away years of treatment plans for the new and suffering high tech ways to play games until we give up or die, which is their end game agendas.

    • You right on the money, T. More reasons for the VA to enact the “acting out” scenario, like make you wear an orange reflecting shirt when you walk in. I am a lawyer and they tried it on me until someone shook them to their senses.. More bufoonery, by boobecrats. So they asked me: “how smart are you?” I said: Uh, not too smart, as I am sitting here talking to you, but if you put shit on one plate and cabbage on the other, I would eat the cabbage, Pard………………………….”

  4. I give up again for i dont know how many times. The more informed it get thr more i want to be a nomad. I just wanna split from it all. Off to the forest or desert. Leave it all behind fuck everything.

  5. VA mental health doesn’t include one’s religious beliefs, tried it but had to leave Jesus out. Not a good idea as far as I’m concerned. He’s the main reason I haven’t gone to the Wall and bled out… .

    • You should try my therapist. He is definitely on your side. Thing is, though I believe in Jesus, I’ve become a Baha’i and also believe in all the founders of God’s Great Religions. The differences are man made not God Made.

  6. It comes down to two things, “to integrate care to improve outcomes and lower medical costs”, and I’m pretty sure which one they are more concerned about. The VA has a big problem with the 22 a day suicides, in fact it’s been happening for so long I think they just think it’s normal now, so it sounds like a “Were going to let an outside company de-risk whatever risky practices we are doing, share your records with them, and use less $$$.” It doesn’t sound good, especially the monitoring (almost sounds like an ankle bracelet type device- but who knows what it is or have in mind) even though I really didn’t understand it as it was a pretty vague description of what they are going to do….

  7. Well if you tell a doctor whats wrong with you and/or what your concerns are more than likely they’ll just ignore you so yea, I’m not buying this is for our health at all

  8. They just can’t leave well-alone can they? Why don’t these assholes FIX what’s BROKEN FIRST instead of coating the turds with more turds?
    (tune of ‘Alice In Wonderland’, Red Queen: “Painting the roses red…painting the turds a shiny brown….”

  9. VA is running a pilot program with NeuroFlow as part of the Phase I. Folks lets get real. The VA has problems scheduling and getting things right with all sorts of things. This is just another boondoggle that will make some entity wealthy with little or no results worth to look at.

  10. The only thing I needed to see was holistic. In case you’re wondering Ben in VA world holistic is code for junk science. For example, before I permanently left VA, my PCP said you need holistic care I’m referring you to “Healing Touch” okay that doesn’t sound bad until you get there & the dr with the straightest face I’ve ever seen starts talking about how you need a chakra cleanse to make all your pain go away. K we’re done here you’re crazier than the VA & that’s saying something. These holistic companies are ripping the VA & vets off. Additionally, they try to give you extra services you don’t need like nutrition so they can hurry up & use all your allotted visits so they get paid more. I’m telling you VA isn’t worth it. Junk science isn’t worth it. This dude is also trying to rip the VA & vets off just like all the other holistic care centers….

    • You may be right on this last post, Molly. I didn’t experience that with my Choice PCP but this is likely a “pork contract.”

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