Blockchain, AI accelerates HHS acquisition lifecycle


In January, HHS was authorized to operate and retrieve live data for its new blockchain and artificial intelligence tool, HHS Accelerate, which is designed to pull real-time data to improve decision-making, according to FedTech Magazine. HHS Accelerate is designed to shrink acquisition and contract lifecycles.

Saving time and money, HHS Accelerate is designed to improve decision-making for various contracts. Through the blockchain technology, HHS Accelerate will sift through data from five contract-writing systems and nearly 100,000 contracts, which represents $25 billion in annual spending.

HHS Accelerate will update the data every 24 hours, according to Jose Arrieta, associate deputy assistant secretary for acquisition at HHS. "We believe that there's significant savings and significant price negotiation power that will come with having full visibility into prices paid," Mr. Arrieta told FedTech Magazine.

Previously, HHS struggled with accessing real-time data. This caused the agency to take months to organize and analyze the data needed to make an acquisition. HHS Accelerate standardizes sets of data while leveraging a microservices strategy.

"Now we have the ability to do that analysis in one second and provide the information to the contracting officer in negotiation or acquisition planning," Mr. Arrieta told FedTech Magazine.

The microservices strategy is layered on the blockchain infrastructure and uses robotic process automation and machine learning. HHS plans to provide the blockchain tool to its contracting workforce by March. By the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2019, the agency will decide whether to divert from its current Departmental Contracts Information System to HHS Accelerate.

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