Partners will use Lake Nona as test bed to advance technology, health and wellness initiatives
Lake Nona recently announced three major private investment collaborations with Cisco, Wellness & Prevention, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, and Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, at its inaugural Lake Nona Impact Forum. A select group of than 300 thought leaders representing academia, industry, healthcare delivery and government convened to exchange ideas for improving national health and wellness.
The newly cemented sponsorships are focused on advancing Cisco, Wellness & Prevention, Inc. and Florida Blue technology, health and wellness initiatives using the 7,000-acre Lake Nona community as a living laboratory to test products, study ideas and drive positive results. Located within the city limits of Orlando next to the airport, Lake Nona was designed to offer quality education, environmental amenities, diverse workspaces, retail centers, a life sciences cluster and homes for more than 25,000 planned residents.
Cisco and Lake Nona
Visiting Lake Nona in October, Cisco CEO John Chambers recognized the community as the first U.S. “Iconic City” within Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities initiative. Lake Nona joins Barcelona, London, Skolkovo in Russia, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Chengdu / Chongqing in China and Songdo, South Korea as one of nine Iconic Smart+Connected cities in the world. In partnership with Cisco, Lake Nona will continue to build over the next 15 years a community with the highest technological and environmental standards by providing unprecedented connectivity.
“When you build out a community like this with this infrastructure, it’s going to have legs for decades in terms of sustainability,” Chambers said.
Lake Nona, becoming recognized as the fastest growing innovation cluster in North America, was selected by Cisco due in part to its robust high-speed technology infrastructure, which also has earned recognition from the White House U.S. Ignite Partnership as one of the few U.S. communities to successfully deploy a gigabit “no limits” network.
The Lake Nona technology infrastructure will be a key enabler for innovations in areas including healthcare, community safety, lifelong learning and education, intelligent workplace environments and innovation and experience incubation centers.
“If you can have unlimited computers, unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth at a reasonable price, would you run healthcare, would you run a city, would you run a Lake Nona the same way?” said Anil Menon, Cisco’s president of globalization and Smart+Connected Communities.
In addition to its emerging technology, Lake Nona demonstrated that it also will be a leading force in health and wellness innovation through its healthy living efforts and its innovative life sciences cluster known as Lake Nona Medical City, offering leading-edge medical research, treatment and education.
Wellness & Prevention, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company, and Lake Nona Institute
Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky identified Lake Nona as a great opportunity to effectively study and measure the health and wellness of an entire community over the course of multiple years. Wellness & Prevention, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, is launching the Lake Nona Life Study, which will be among the first longitudinal research projects of its size and scope that will transform the Lake Nona community into a living laboratory for exploring health challenges and testing new initiatives that could have a measurable impact on population health and wellness for generations to come.
The results of the Lake Nona Life Study will create a new database of health information that may spur additional research projects to track and determine the factors that impact health and wellbeing.
“Everyone is looking for a sustainable business model around wellness,” said Sanjay Gupta, president of Wellness & Prevention, Inc. “The Lake Nona Life Study carves out a unique opportunity for business, academia, government, and medicine to unite on this issue and collect data beyond traditional channels. It’s a rare chance to study wellness on a larger scale and care for individuals and communities one person at a time.”
Florida Blue and Lake Nona Institute
Florida Blue announced its plans to support Lake Nona’s health and wellness ecosystem as a founding partner of the Lake Nona Institute, and will initially begin testing innovative integrated consumer and provider experiences. The goal is to drive improved collaboration between these parties to produce better health for individuals and communities while improving overall quality and lowering costs.
Patrick Geraghty, chairman and CEO of Florida Blue, said the Lake Nona announcement “is a true testament to our commitment to meaningful and barrier-shattering modernization in healthcare that will prove beneficial to all. We are extremely excited to be on the ground floor of this type of innovation in the state of Florida, and we look forward to sharing the results of our efforts with the entire healthcare community.”
Other 2012 Lake Nona Impact Forum Highlights
Partnerships were a recurring theme of the three-day event that brought business executives and innovators through several Lake Nona Medical City facilities that served as conference venues, including the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and the newly opened University of Florida Academic & Research Center.
Through empowering conversations and encouraging solutions offered by healthcare leaders, the Lake Nona Impact Forum addressed some of the industry’s toughest challenges as well as its biggest opportunities, from the era of digital medicine and the consumerization of healthcare to consumer engagement and population aging.
“The political, economic and clinical landscape has evolved,” said Bill Frist, former U.S. Senate majority leader. “We need to think differently about how to move our organizations, and the broader healthcare economy, in the right direction faster.”
Daniel Kraft, executive director of FutureMed and a Stanford- and Harvard-trained physician of internal medicine and pediatrics, acknowledged the ways technology can reinvent healthcare delivery in ways hardly imagined yet.
“One day the idea of going down to your doctor’s office will be as foreign as going to your local Blockbuster,” he said. “Instead of dragging your three-year-old to the pediatrician, you can look in the ear, take a picture and send it to your doctor for diagnosis. Your colonoscopist can fly through your colon like Luke Skywalker using a virtual colonoscopy.”
Kraft said technology also has the potential to improve prevention and wellness with devices in development such as blood glucose meters and blood pressure cuffs that attach to smart phones and email readings to the patient’s doctor.
Michael Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging, addressed the need to develop solutions to empower the world’s aging population to remain economically productive, engaged and active.
“Age-friendly cities, age-friendly universities and age-friendly workplaces are examples of ways to cater to the aging population,” he said. “Lake Nona is the best example I’ve seen.”
The event closed with an expanded community breakfast with delegates and other attendees exploring how everyone can play a role in improving health and the ways Fortune 500 companies like PepsiCo and Darden are increasingly embracing health and wellness strategies in the food industry.
PepsiCo, whose products are consumed by 1.2 billion people on a weekly basis, established its Global Nutrition Group two years ago to introduce more nutritionally related products into its portfolio. The company has worked to remove more than 50 billion calories with sweetener technology and also cut more than 700 metric tons of salt from its snack chips.
“Our company has an immense global footprint, and with it comes a huge responsibility,” said PepsiCo’s chief scientific officer Mehmood Khan, who oversees the company’s Global Nutrition Group and leads companywide research and development. “It’s not just thinking about the brand, it’s thinking about the future that comes with it.”
For additional information about the Lake Nona Impact Forum and the Lake Nona Institute, visit: www.LakeNonaInstitute.org.