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National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation logo image

Collaborating Across Industries to Improve Veteran Healthcare

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Image of medical professionals experimenting with augmented reality
Medical professionals working with AR to visualize the human heart, lungs, and blood vessels

Our Mission

Located in Silicon Valley, the National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation (NCCHI) collaborates broadly with industry partners, other government agencies, academia, and throughout VA to create a far-reaching positive impact on Veteran care. NCCHI is translating complex technologies from the research bench to the clinical bedside.

NCCHI is driven to bring our Veterans the best and most advanced healthcare possible. With groundbreaking collaborative partnerships and cutting-edge technology, NCCHI focuses on enhancing healthcare delivery at VA and in the broader healthcare community.

Experience a New Era of Connectivity

Innovative Sensor Technology

Fall Prevention image

Fall Prevention e-Wearable

Falls are costly and common, causing more extended hospital stays and increased care expenses. NCCHI and Palarum developed a wireless SmartSock system. It detects falls and alerts nurses promptly, improving patient safety and clinical response.

Smart White Cane image

Smart White Cane

NCCHI collaborates with Brian Higgins, a retired VA employee, and Veteran, to develop a revolutionary smart cane for visually impaired individuals. The smart cane, equipped with advanced sensors, such as LIDAR and ultrasound, enhances mobility and navigation, offering increased freedom, safety, and independence.

Digital Twin

(NCCHI) is utilizing drone technology to create a digital twin of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. The digital twin is a virtual replica of the physical environment, which can be used to simulate various scenarios and predict outcomes. The drones capture high-resolution images and data, which is processed using advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms. This enables the VA Palo Alto Health Care System to improve patient care, optimize resource utilization, and enhance operational efficiency. For example, the digital twin can be used to identify potential safety hazards, plan and test emergency response procedures, and optimize the layout of facilities. Overall, the use of drone technology and the creation of a digital twin has the potential to transform the way healthcare systems operate, and NCCHI is at the forefront of this innovation.

5G Healthcare Revolution

Expertise on Demand

Because of NCCHI's collaborative work with Verizon, VA Palo Alto has become the first full spectrum 5G hospital in the world. The advanced 5G communications and data infrastructure allows us to enhance current healthcare solutions as well as develop and deploy new groundbreaking healthcare technology that would not otherwise be possible.

Poster image for a video that shows the artery and vein system of the human body virtual reality
Poster image for a video that shows a human heart in virtual reality

AR and VR for Clinical Training

5G + augmented reality enables interactive virtual teaching & training. Remote groups learn and share medical insights. Dynamic 3D holographic anatomy models enhance virtual procedures. NCCHI has projects to improve medical training for students and professionals.


AR for Procedural Guidance

3D holograms of patient scans offer virtual X-ray vision, revolutionizing surgeries. 5G's low latency enhances visual awareness for precise procedures. NCCHI and collaborators optimize this transformational tech for enhanced Veteran surgeries.


AR for Pre-Surgical Planning

5G + AR transforms diagnostic scans into interactive 3D models for optimized surgical approaches. NCCHI develops tools with industry partners for smaller incisions, faster recovery, and improved safety/outcomes.

Data Driven Solutions

Advanced Analytics

The Advanced Analytics team leverages big data, artificial intelligence, and statistical methods to develop analytic tools using electronic health records. The team's projects spans from improving patient outcomes to advancing preventive care, tackling complex health challenges such as female infertility, identifying and predicting inpatient falls, and understanding environmental impacts on Veteran health.

Loop implementation to extract data

Data Extraction

Utilizing national databases to extract, transform, and integrate data aimed at enhancing the treatment and care provided to Veterans.

Map of US with showing HRI Slope Change by state and year.

Statistical Analysis

Applying advanced statistical analysis techniques to forecast patient outcomes, uncover subtle clinical trends, and explore environmental impacts on Veteran health.

Animation showing how to leverage LLM and AI


Leveraging LLM and AI to extract relevant clinical data from unstructured clinical notes, anticipate adverse clinical events, and enhancing healthcare decision-making processes with actional insights.

Virtual Teleportation

Advanced tech, 5G, and creative engineering teleport users virtually. We are revolutionizing healthcare with safer patient interactions across distances.

Police officer operating a drone for an emergency
Experience a New Era of Connectivity

Advanced Sensor Enabled Drones for Emergent Response

5G and connected tech improve facility situational awareness. NCCHI partners with VA departments to enhance emergency response, security, and routine inspections.

Image of drone hovering for tablet device
Image of drone hovering for mobile device

Our Publications

First Full Spectrum 5G Hospital at VA Palo Alto Health Care System Will Empower Unprecedented Care for Veterans

Assessment of a wearable fall prevention system at a veterans health administration hospital

Our Team

David Arreola, MCSE - Interim Director

David Arreola, MCSE

Interim Director

Zachary Veigulis, MS - Chief Data Scientist

Zachary Veigulis, MS

Chief Data Scientist

Ilya Vrublevskiy - Project Manager

Ilya Vrublevskiy

Project Manager

Anna Ware, MPH - Healthcare Data Scientist

Anna Ware, MPH

Healthcare Data Scientist

Terri Blumke - Healthcare Data Scientist

Terri Blumke

Healthcare Data Scientist

Peter Hoover - Healthcare Data Scientist

Peter Hoover

Healthcare Data Scientist

Brian Higgins - Innovator

Brian Higgins


Malvika Pillai, PhD - Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Malvika Pillai, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


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