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Top VA tech official pushes agile development

Nov. 13, 2013 - 05:37PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

The Veterans Affairs Department should engage in more agile development in order to make more responsive and innovative programs, according to the agency’s top technology official.

Marina Martin, the chief technology officer at the VA, said Wednesday at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Bethesda chapter annual Health IT conference in Bethesda, Md., the agency needs to build fast and cost-effective prototypes in order to better understand and meet its program goals while designing services that patients and providers want.

She said an example would be to allow patients the ability to share their health data with third-party apps — such as fitness programs — and allow those programs to share that data with a doctor for better health management.

Martin said the VA should also put its prototypes online to crowdsource solutions and ideas from stakeholders and to make the end result more effective.

“We should not build anything without constant feedback from our customers,” Martin said.

She said the agency should always consider open-source software and build programs to make them more interoperable and be easily shared and adapted to fit new needs.

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