VA expanding clinical data access to improve COVID-19, suicide prevention outcomes

Synthetic data generation through a new platform with protect veterans' health information and enable the agency to work with others and industry.
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Authorized users will soon be able to access COVID-19 clinical data from the Veterans Health Administration via an analytics platform.

The VHA Innovation Ecosystem has partnered with MDClone to deploy the Israeli digital health company’s platform within the Department of Veterans Affairs‘ cloud environment.

MDClone’s software tools will help VA staff identify operational efficiencies and improve patient outcomes — not only regarding the coronavirus pandemic but suicide prevention and other illnesses — for more than 9 million veterans.

“Available clinical data includes electronic health record, lab, pharmacy and telehealth data, which will be ingested into the MDClone ADAMS platform,” Josh Rubel, chief commercial officer at the company, told FedScoop. “Authorized users will have access to the data, but notably the VA can administer access, to only view or access synthetic data, to certain types of users — enabling wider access as desired by the agency.


The VHA Innovation Ecosystem wants to enable more VA clinicians and scientists to test and refine care models and initiatives. Data access, complexity and privacy regulations have made that difficult in the past.

MDClone worked with Senior Innovation Fellow Amanda Purnell, who leads care and transformational initiatives at the VHA Innovation Ecosystem, on the initiative to shorten research timelines.

“Using MDClone, VA staff can compare care models and define best practices across facilities or service lines to get a real-time view of performance,” Rubel said. “This type of analysis often takes months in today’s environment. With MDClone the analysis will take minutes.”

The initial collaboration will focus on COVID-19, suicide prevention, chronic disease management, precision medicine, and health equity. For instance, clinicians can use the ADAMS platform to look at leading indicators of suicide in order to intervene with patients most at risk.

The privacy of veteran health information will be protected using synthetic data in place of traditional de-identification methods. That data could also let VHA collaborate with other agencies, health-care providers and industry down the line.


“The MDClone ADAMS platform enables self-service data exploration and insight discovery with a novel data organization model coupled with a synthetic data engine,” Rubel said. “Using MDClone, VA staff will be able to make powerful self-service exploration available to a wider variety of users due to the synthetic data output.”

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