The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is interested in receiving proposals on how blockchain technology can help the agency improve its operations. That's what VA Chief Technology Officer Charles Worthington told a panel at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Bethesda's 10th Annual Health IT Day on January 16.
"We really would be looking to industry to surface use cases for us," Worthington told those assembled. "I think we're going to be coming to industry with problems we have, and if you think blockchain is an appropriate solution, bring it to us."
He predicts that the areas in which blockchain technology can make a positive impact on the VA include health data sharing and interoperability, challenges which have long dogged the administration.
While he made a point of noting that he is not overly optimistic about the blockchain's ability to help his agency, he added that "the end solution could just look a lot like the solution we have today, assembled in a novel way that we were encouraged to think of because of blockchain."
Pilot projects will prove an important vehicle for determining whether blockchain-integrated solutions have a role to play in VA procedures and systems, he said.