Speech Technology Magazine

 

Veterans to Get Avatars at VA Medical Centers

iDAvatars will lead the interactive avatar design for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Posted Aug 12, 2015
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In an effort to give veterans more meaningful and interactive experiences within the Veterans Health Administration Virtual Medical Center (VA-VMC), iDAvatars has subcontracted with Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS). For the next 10 months, iDAvatars is building intelligent digital avatars that will be integrated into the existing VA-VMC.

"iDAvatars was awarded this subcontract to redesign the existing virtual medical assistants with avatars that bring more interaction, engagement, and empathy during each touchpoint with an avatar," said Norrie Daroga, iDAvatars' CEO, in a statement. "Improving the delivery of healthcare is part of our mission, and as an IBM Watson Ecosystem Partner, the enhanced technology will also give veterans the opportunity to ask the avatars 5,000-6,000 conversational questions related to diabetes."

The VA-VMC gives veterans around-the-clock access to avatars that guide them through multiple virtual clinics focused on general health topics, specific medical conditions, disease management, and overall well-being. Both veterans and providers from around the world can connect and share information inside a virtual world.

"The integration of iDAvatars' technology will bring a unique capability to the VA-VMC," Larry Kayne, chief operating officer of ECS, said in a statement. "Our goal is to enhance the veterans' virtual world experience with an interactive Virtual Medical Advisor which will provide auditory responses to questions posed by the veteran about various medical conditions."

Daroga expects the avatar redesign to be completed by May 2016, at which time the capability within the VA-VMC will go live.


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