The VA can attract more advanced research partnerships by reforming how it reviews, approves, and supports external research, especially clinical research.
1. Reduce the clinical trials startup time by 100 days.
Faster start-up will attract more cutting edge research to VA. For many medical conditions, including many brain health conditions, clinical research is the standard of care, yet inefficiencies at VA sites cause clinical trials to start on average over 120 days later than at other sites.
2. Develop master plan to support clinical research.
The VA should play a direct role in bridging the gap between basic research and clinical research. The VA should develop a master plan, with private sector engagement, to speed development of new diagnostics and therapies for conditions that disproportionately impact Veterans.
3. Mandate the development of new diagnostic tools.
We need mechanism-based diagnostic tools to precisely diagnose mental health conditions. The VA should work with relevant partners to build a comprehensive plan for biomarker discovery and validation, with the target of deploying at least two additional brain health diagnostic measurements before 2023 for clinical use at VA facilities.