Department of Veteran Affairs allows private developers to create Digital Technology

The Department of Veteran Affairs is looking for outside innovators to update it’s health technology systems. Now, it has become easier for private citizens to engage with the department after it launched Lighthouse, an API that lets developers to create digital technology to make mobile and web apps for veterans.

The new API lists four components for developers: data-driven, standards-based, future-proof, and veteran-centric technology. Now, people from outside industries can have a short stint working for the government.

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Alex Loehr, deputy chief technology officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs says that some of the VA system’s online forms were difficult to use. Which meant that lesser number of people were using the online system to avail to the benefits like VA healthcare. Still, fewer veterans were using the online system to schedule a visit to the doctor’s clinic. Infact, in some cases, veterans needed to have knowledge of the particular law that gave them access to certain service and this created confusion.

Loehr said that users need not know VA terms to interact with the VA. But, it's not just the patient interface that the department is planning to revamp - its meant for healthcare workers and providers too. Patients should be able to get their data when asked for.