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Flagship AI R&D Pilot Projects

The NAII is engaged with high-impact AI R&D projects that leverage cutting-edge AI to solve some of the most pressing challenges facing the VA. Below are a selection of the NAII's current pilot projects.

AI-To-Go Tool

As the VA's capacity and portfolio of AI research increases, there will be a need to create a pipeline for AI research to transition to validation, user acceptance, and eventually enterprise implementation. A key capability in that process will be delivered in the NAII's AI-To-Go Tool; a service hosted on the VA Enterprise Cloud where models can be stacked and compared against one another for performance while receiving input from clinicians on the value and impact of the information presented, prior to the model being transitioned to a pilot.

COVID-19 Prognostics Explainable AI Tool

The coronavirus pandemic has created an especially large burden for healthcare professionals to treat patients rapidly and effectively. AI technology can expedite the clinical decision-making process by aiding in the prediction of COVID-19 patient disposition. Specifically, AI can be used to determine whether someone is likely to recover from COVID-19 or experience mortality.

Using data across Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, we built an AI tool to predict mortality. This tool identifies and explains the most important features, ranging from individual demographic characteristics (e.g., age) to lab results that either drive or protect against COVID-19 mortality.

Upon validating our model's performance and interpreting the results, we built an interactive program deployed to clinicians across VA medical centers. Clinicians can now use this platform to help inform COVID-19 treatment strategies. We are currently determining how deployment of this AI tool affects patient outcomes and clinicians' user experience. Finally, we are working to adapt our platform to make predictions about other disease states. This pilot reflects one of the many ways that the NAII is building "AI-to-Go" to help organizations and teams deploy AI tools at scale.

The AI-To-Go Tool and COVID-19 Prognostics Explainable AI Tool have been developed to promote the Principles for Use of AI in Government (Sec. 3) set forth by Executive Order 13960: Promoting the Use of Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence in Federal Government. The NAII is committed to developing AI tools that are purposeful and performance driven, transparent, accountable, regularly monitored, and that respect for our Nation's values and remain consistent with the Constitution by protecting privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

Are you a VA investigator interested in collaborating with the NAII to pilot cutting-edge high-impact AI research? Contact us at

Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.