IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced last 28 August 2019 the launch of GRIT, a digital solution for veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists that provides a mobile experience to help them understand and strengthen their mental fitness, social connections, and overall well-being.

Developed by IBM iX in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and embedded with Total Brain’s technology, GRIT is the first branded digital solution dedicated to helping populations who live under considerable stress and/or are going through a significant life transition like leaving the military to re-enter civilian life.

GRIT uses technology to aggregate personalized data in a completely confidential and secure manner.* The data is used to create a digital profile of the individual, which, when coupled with artificial intelligence, enables GRIT to glean unique insights and effectively get to “know” each service member, reservist, or veteran personally. GRIT provides service members and veterans with a host of useful insights and tools to aid them in monitoring their mental health, building emotional and cognitive capacities and resilience, finding the right jobs and housing opportunities, enhancing their social connections for support, etc.

To monitor mental health and build mental fitness, IBM is partnering with Total Brain which provides scientific brain assessments and personalized brain and mind training to help users consolidate mental strengths and master weaknesses.

GRIT arose from a long-standing collaboration between the VA and IBM looking into how technology could contribute to solutions for veterans transitioning out of service. VA clinicians, mobility experts and veterans joined IBM in a series of design thinking workshops to explore ideas about to address the need for resources and assistance. These sessions led to a prototype and additional feedback and research. Then, GRIT was retailored and designed to help service members and veterans gain personal insights into their emotional well-being, provide resources to improve their individual situations, and serve as a mechanism to address social determinants that greatly impact individuals’ well-being.

“This is a historic public-private partnership with the VA — one that helps veterans bridge the gap when they are transitioning out of service and at their most vulnerable,” said Kathleen Urbine, partner, emerging technology and mobile lead, IBM Services. “Our partnership with Total Brain has been crucial in supporting the mental health and fitness aspect of this tool and we look forward to continuing this important work.”

GRIT Field Test

As part of the five-month contract awarded in June 2019, IBM is facilitating a field test for the VA’s GRIT tool. Partners for the field test include Total Brain, Burning Glass and collaboration with organizations including Easter Seals, the Wounded Warrior ProjectAmerican Warrior Partnership and the National Guard. The field test will engage veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists, to use the GRIT digital solution in a real-life setting to evaluate the user experience and usefulness of the solution, and to provide feedback for improvements. The test begins today and is set to end in November 2019.

“We are thrilled to partner with IBM to address the health and well-being of the VA community with easy-to-use, ubiquitous and adaptive technology that recognizes the importance of both individual and social determinants. The very concept of well-being is a holistic one; hence, its improvement must come from a holistic solution. Furthermore, we cannot think of a more deserving community,” said Louis Gagnon, CEO, Total Brain.

IBM’s contract with the VA was awarded in June and runs until November. Following the conclusion of the contract and based upon field testers’ feedback, IBM will develop a comprehensive plan for the full launch of GRIT. GRIT is the first instantiation of a bigger platform called THRIVE360° of Mental Fitness, which IBM intends to deploy with other communities under stress or in transition.


Source: IBM News Room

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