2013 Lake Nona Impact Forum: Oct. 24 Summary

When a handful of key leaders from around the globe get together in Lake Nona, Fla., here’s what happens: a lively discussion that is altogether inspiring.

Healthcare Reform

“This is arguably one of the most transformative times in health in history,” said Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senator. “Over the next few years this country will be building a new paradigm in health.”

And with that, Daschle launched the Forum with a real spirit of optimism. Likewise, he was equally positive about Lake Nona’s Medical City.

“This is really one of the of the most innovative experiences that I’ve had,” he says. “What you’ve done in a very short period of time and what you are about to do over the course of the next few years is extraordinary.”

As the architect of Obamacare, he set aside the question of what government’s role should be and instead addressed cost, access and quality issues, pointing out that 45,000 people die a year because they don’t have health insurance.

Transforming the Health of Cities

Nancy Snyderman, chief medical editor at NBC News, kicked off the following panel, which was meant to take Daschle’s ideas and move them forward. The key take away is that leadership really matters especially at a grassroots level. In order to move the dial, a community and its key stakeholders must roll up its collective sleeve and take charge.

Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of Clinton Health Matters, is taking that to heart. “We like to say we’re in the how business,” she said. “We use a common formula. We take on complex problems, and look at how we try to move the needle.”

Health Policy and New Models of Care

“Innovating a Learning Health Care System” Panel

“All physicians share a special relationship with the patient,” said Jim Madara, CEO of the American Medical Association. “We call it ‘the magic moment.’”

Along those lines, “we need to engage patients in coproduction of health,” said Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Advisor, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

At the end of the day, if you have a satisfied physician, you have a satisfied patient.

After this session, Florida Blue announced its new innovation center as “a next step in a transformation of the health and healthcare community in the state of Florida.” The 92,000-square-foot, three-story building will break ground in the first half of 2014 across from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

Lake Nona’s Thad Seymour Announces the Lake Nona Innovation Center

Medical Technology

“How do we decode connectivity?” Carlos Dominguez, EVP, office of the chairman and CEO of Cisco, asked the crowd. And perhaps, more importantly, “How do you get your organization to follow? How do you lead people through this transformation?”

“Build a culture of experimentation,” he said.

Carlos Dominguez, EVP, office of the chairman and CEO of Cisco

Technology has rebooted all industries. Take the car insurance industry, for example. Thanks to technology, Progressive is monitoring actual behavior now and charging premiums based on that.

Healthcare is no different. Consider Proteus. It has developed ingestible sensors that gather information about medication-taking, activity and rest patterns providing valuable insight for patients and caregivers alike. Or, consider connected inhalers, which help give an accurate picture of what is happening in asthma patients. And finally, what has a lot of people, including Dominguez, intrigued: 3-D printing.

Disruptive Innovation

“How do we leverage what we know about the genome?” said Bob Brigham, chief administrative officer of the Mayo Clinic in Florida. “Regenerative medicine is going to allow the body to heal itself; one day we won’t be doing transplantation anymore.”

“You are continually regenerating yourself,” said Tom Gonwa, M.D., chair of transplantation at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. “Pluripotent stem cells can make anything.”

Essentially, you take a simple skin biopsy, reboot it and turn it into whatever you want.

“It’s one of the most important discoveries in medicine so far,” he said.

Beyond that, The Mayo Clinic is making other technological strides. Take RP7, for example. It’s a telemedicine robot that allows doctors to be face to face with patients even if they are miles away. It also allows doctors to consult with other doctors in different locations, saving precious time.

Focusing Where It Matters

The day ended with an important discussion on obesity, one of the most daunting public health issues facing the nation and the world today. In fact, this year, obesity was designated as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association.

Diabetes is on the rise. Why? “More people are getting diagnosed,” said Vivian Wang. As countries become more wealthy you can eat a more Westernized diet. People are becoming more sedentary.”

It’s no surprise that diabetes is the main driver of healthcare costs in the U.S. In fact, the total cost is 234 billion, according to Wang.

What’s frustrating is that “95 percent of type 2 diabetes is preventable by practicing healthy eating habits.”

On the positive side, “we are starting to understand the behavioral aspects of diabetes,” said John Brooks, president and CEO of Joslin Diabetes Institute Harvard. “Having that kind of understanding is going to be critical.”

Sam Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine, concurred by ending the day with a zinger. “This will actually be a very exciting time to be obese,” he said.