VA, Booz Allen Hamilton, and ASN Bring Leaders and Experts to DC for Inaugural Kidney Disease Innovation Summit

Mar 8, 2017 9:05 AM ET

One of the most difficult spaces to innovate in is healthcare, where new technology and solutions must be effective enough to overcome a preference for the status quo, but inexpensive enough to be affordable for patients. This is particularly true for Veterans who rely on VA for life-saving care and treatment. As a result, major breakthroughs have been limited in the health space, ultimately leaving patients and their families to bear the cost of such inaction. 

The Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI), Booz Allen Hamilton, and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) are working to tackle those challenges head-on. The three groups partnered to host the inaugural Kidney Innovation Summit, an event that showcased the newest ideas and cutting-edge solutions to kidney disease. Held on February 9th and 10th in Booz Allen’s Innovation Center in Washington, DC, the event gathered experts from public, private, not-for-profit, patient advocacy groups, and academic institutions from around the country to channel their thought leadership to improve prevention, treatment, and quality of care for patients with kidney diseases.

A constant theme throughout the program was the need to focus on the people facing chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and their families. Significantly, each session also included kidney disease patients sharing their stories, experiences, and lessons learned from their treatment. It was a powerful opportunity to understand firsthand what patients endure and identify areas with the greatest potential for improvement. 

The summit featured sessions on core topics to help improve patients’ lives, including CKD, renal replacement therapy, transplants, funding opportunities, and many more. Overall, the Kidney Disease Innovation Summit had 41 presentations from experts and thought leaders, including 8 patients sharing their experiences, 10 roundtable sessions, and 25 technology innovation demos and showcases. 

This was not the first time Booz Allen and the VACI collaborated on a major event. In August, the two worked together to put on the VA Innovation Demo Day, which brought frontline VA staff from across the country together to showcase the ways they have used on-the-ground insights and creative thinking to improve patient care. 

Susan Crowley, the VHA Program Director for Kidney Disease, noted the wall in Booz Allen’s Innovation Center that bears the words of Abraham Lincoln, “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” which is exactly the goal of the partnership between Booz Allen, VA and ASN. This summit is proof of their mission to create a future focused on developing game-changing and accessible healthcare innovations for our nation’s Veterans.