But the partnership drawing the most attention is one with IBM's supercomputer Watson, whose genomics technology program will be made available to VA hospitals and doctors looking to pinpoint the best treatment options for veterans battling cancer.
"What you'll begin to start seeing is at your VA hospitals, you'll now have access to the most advanced type of cancer diagnostics anywhere in the world," Shulkin said. "IBM isn't doing this with any other system on this scale."
Department officials hopes to help at least 10,000 veterans with the targeted cancer therapies in the next few years. For some with the illness, individualized treatments could be compiled and processed by the supercomputer within a day of the diagnosis.
"And almost every month, there is new discovery in this area," Shulkin said. "So this is not only helping the patients we'll see this year, but setting up VA to be the kind of system we all hope it should be for years to come."
"This is one of our critical areas of focus," he said. "This is taking what we know is the most advanced, very best way to practice, and really making sure we're getting that to as many veterans as possible as quickly as possible."
Dr. David Shulkin, VA's under secretary for health.
Photo Credit: File photo
Leo Shane III covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.