Guest post from Patrick Bartosch at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute 

Health and tech leaders from across the country gathered in Orlando’s Medical City last week for the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum. Organized by the Lake Nona Institute, the Impact Forum strives to unlock innovation to create sustainable health communities and advance quality of life by exploring the intersections of wellness, sustainable living, and education. Speakers this year included the CEO of Johnson & Johnson, the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the CEO of BlackBerry, as well as Sanford-Burnham CEO Perry Nisen, among many others.

The discussions covered a diverse array of topics such as the future of technology in medicine, the increasing costs of developing new treatments, building healthy communities, and leadership in veterans care. Here are a few highlights:

  • Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show, spoke about the things that hold us back in life, particularly when it comes to improving our health. According to Oz, these are: 1) time, 2) money, 3) knowledge, and 4) fear of change. While we in the health industry can’t necessarily do anything in regards to 1) and 2), we can increase knowledge and we can encourage change. Technology is one of the ways we can directly impact how people monitor and improve their health. Just think about all the apps that are out there now to track your eating habits and exercise.
  • CNN’s Sanjay Gupta led a panel discussion about personalized medicine, explaining how cancer genes can predispose certain people to develop malignant tumors at one point in their lives. The panelists also discussed encouraging results from very early immunotherapy trials in Europe. The idea behind immunotherapy is to strengthen the human immune system, so that it can successfully fight diseases such as cancer on its own. In contrast to treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy focuses solely on the targeted, e.g. cancerous, cells and leave other, healthy cells alone.
  • Former Sanford-Burnham CEO John Reed, who now leads Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development at Roche, chaired a discussion about treatment costs and the huge investments necessary to bring new medicines to the patient. The panel offered a broader view of the cost of medicines across the world. Here in the U.S., patients pay much more for novel and promising drugs than in the rest of the world. One reason for this is that most pharma R&D is financed by the income pharmaceutical companies generate with these new, expensive drugs in the U.S.

The closing keynote address of this year’s Impact Forum was delivered by the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert McDonald, who spoke about the efforts under way to make the department more efficient and improve veterans care. The Secretary’s presentation ranged from political difficulties his department faces when trying to increase efficiencies, to the challenges in recruitment, to the new Orlando VA Medical Center that opened in February 2015 in Lake Nona Medical City. Secretary McDonald reminded us with compelling and emotional videos of veterans that the work he and his department does is crucial to those who served our country. Kudos to the team at the Lake Nona Institute and to all speakers for creating an engaging, stimulating, and informative event. We already look forward to the 2016 Impact Forum!

After 3 days, 29 speeches and panels and hundreds of discussions, the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum drew to a close Friday afternoon.

And from the spirited conversations that continued while many of the 250 nationally-recognized presenters, panelists, thought-leaders and attendees headed homeward, the Forum clearly achieved its goal of exploring ways to unlock innovation to create sustainable healthy communities and advance quality of life for all.

This was done by examining the intersections of wellness, sustainable living, education and other disciplines that – separately or together – are seeking to further advance life science and healthier living. While the topics and the participants were diverse, they all wrestled with the same challenge:

How do we move the needle on health care?

Some of the dialogue focused on new ways technology and medicine can blend to improve healthcare delivery, while others addressed the impact of more-engaged patients on the quality and delivery of care. Others brought to life still-nascent topics – like how to accelerate “personalized medicine” and the potential of traditional and social media to enhance patient engagement – that are sure to advance further in the comings months and years.

As cardiac surgeon and host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” Mehmet Oz, said during remarks on Friday, “the one piece of advice I have for consumers is to celebrate life.” And with the commitment to innovation in healthcare displayed throughout the three-day Forum, individuals should have even more reasons for celebrating in the future.

Many thanks to presenting sponsor Johnson & Johnson for spearheading the Forum, along with our other sponsors: Cisco, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, GuideWell, Sharecare, Tavistock Foundation, Nemours, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, UCF College of Medicine, UF Health, Orlando VA Medical Center, Dr. Phillips Charities, Florida Hospital, Garmin, Insurance Office of America, MediFit, Mirati Therapeutics, Orlando Health, PepsiCo, PwC, Technogym, and the United States Tennis Association.

Will the cutting-edge technologies, burgeoning ideas and lively debates from the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum lead to the next generation of innovation in health care?

Stay tuned …


The final day of the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum was filled with announcements. The day kicked off with news of the launch of IQ Orlando, a business venture among Tavistock Group, University of Central Florida, AHG Group, and Florida Hospital aimed at recruiting and launching life science companies in the Orlando area. Also announced was a partnership between Lake Nona and wellness builder Delos, which will bring health-focused construction, design practices and other innovations to Lake Nona’s residential and commercial projects. Finally, the Florida Institute of Technology was presented as the latest organization to join the Lake Nona community.

Among the morning’s other highlights, Gloria Caulfield, the Forum’s executive director, discussed the growth rates of chronic disease and the vision of Lake Nona to not only innovate in building a healthier community, but to share that knowledge and design that can improve health across communities nationwide.

Joshua Sharfstein, former secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Hygiene, extended the healthy communities conversation by explaining how technology can help improve population health. But he also addressed a more sobering and common theme throughout the Forum: the cost of health care. He presented data showing that the cost of health care in this country grows independent of the population’s health. With that realization as a backdrop, he noted the innovative strategies employed across Maryland hospitals, such as capping health care expenditures and pegging them to outcomes.

Next, a panel addressed the notion that reshaping health requires reshaping the environment in which people live. Led by Jason McLennan, CEO, International Living Future Institute, the insightful discussion addressed the impact of today’s mostly sedentary, stress-filled, indoor lifestyles negatively impact health. The panelists – including Lou Lenzi, design director, GE Appliances and Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer, Cleveland Clinic – talked about how re-designing our work and life environments can help improve our health.

Arlin Wasserman, partner at Menus of Change, examined how sustainability and improving health are inexplicably linked. Conversely, he noted the opposite, too – by sharing data explaining that the proteins that produce the most greenhouse gases are also the most detrimental to our health over time. He then lead an interesting discussion on how companies like Jamba Juice, PepsiCo and Canyon Ranch have been able to reduce the calorie counts in the food products they offer.

From food, the discourse moved to activity. Tom Farrey, executive director from the Aspen Institute, introduced a session on the importance of instilling a love of activity in children under the age of 12. The panel – featuring a scientist, former professional tennis player and professional soccer coach – provided examples of how activity at a young age, coaching techniques, and other tactics can be applied to motivating activity in children.

The three-day event’s final speaker, the Honorable Robert McDonald, U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs, gave a comprehensive overview of the benefits and services provided to veterans by the agency. He emphasized the innovative programs and techniques instituted by VA doctors, including implantable cardiac pacemakers, shingles vaccines, nicotine patches, and artificial limbs that operate from signals in the brain. He then looked ahead and spoke of building partnerships like the ones discussed throughout the Forum, all to improve the care and quality of life for veterans.

As the conference drew to a conclusion – wrapping up three days of presentations on new business ventures, new technologies and new strategies in treating cancer and chronic diseases – the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum clearly succeeded in its goal of breaking down barriers and creating ideas that will shape the future of healthcare in our nation.



Today, Lake Nona announced a new collaboration with Delos, the pioneer of Wellness Real Estate, to bring wellness building and design initiatives to the 7,000-acre Lake Nona community to further enhance healthy living. The first-of-its-kind agreement will bring multiple innovative programs and health-focused construction and design practices onsite across both residential and commercial projects. Lake Nona is one of the first communities to feature Delos’ wellness-infused designs across more than one real estate typology.

“We believe there is a strong appetite for creating healthy environments at Lake Nona,” said Jim Zboril, president of Lake Nona and Tavistock Development Company. “From the physical design of the community to the neighborhood programs, and now with wellness design practices and groundbreaking programs, Lake Nona encourages all aspects of healthy living. Working with Delos, Lake Nona is building unique environments unlike anything else in this marketplace.”

The announcement was made during the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum, where more than 250 of the nation’s foremost CEOs, academics and health care leaders have gathered in Lake Nona Medical City to generate and exchange ideas that inspire new ways to address health care, wellness and sustainability practices in our community.

Delos Founder and CEO Paul Scialla noted, “Lake Nona is at the forefront of healthy living and through our new collaboration, Delos has a unique opportunity to introduce our latest wellness-infused designs and programs across multiple real estate categories and offer members of the community a more complete healthy living experience.”

The first project of the collaboration will be with Lake Nona’s Intelligent Home, which will include healthy living features and amenities, such as advanced air and water purification systems and circadian lighting strategies. Breaking ground later this year with a scheduled opening in the fourth quarter of 2015, the Intelligent Home will serve as a model within the Lake Nona community for emerging technologies, design and health and wellness initiatives.

Delos’ WELL Signature program will also be incorporated into a selection of the residences at Landon House, a 280-unit luxury, urban style apartment building currently under construction in Lake Nona Medical City. The WELL Signature residences at Landon House will include several of Delos’ innovative wellness designs and amenities to improve residents’ quality of air, water, light, nutrition and sleep.

Delos will also implement its innovative hospitality designs in the new dual-branded Marriott hotel through the debut of 34 Stay Well rooms. The first Delos-designed wellness hotel rooms to open in Florida, the Stay Well rooms feature more than 20 evidence-based health and wellness amenities that allow guests to maintain healthy lifestyle practices while on the road. The Stay Well experience features energizing light therapy, advanced water and air purification systems, the Stay Well dawn simulator and LightActive – a self-cleaning, photocatalytic coating applied to high-touch areas throughout the hotel room. Currently under construction in the Lake Nona Town Center, the new Marriott and its 34 Stay Well rooms will open in

In addition to these projects, Lake Nona has committed to pursuing WELL certification for several commercial office buildings.

Lake Nona is setting a new standard for the way in which business and residential communities are being built, focusing on high quality, high technology and innovative development.

Recently acknowledged by FORTUNE Magazine as a model for the next great American city, Lake Nona is one of the fastest growing communities in America attracting more than $2.8 billion in construction across 7.1 million square feet with the development of two new hospitals, three college campuses, a nationally recognized medical research institute, the USTA’s ‘New Home of American Tennis’ and thousands of new homes. Adjacent to the Orlando International Airport, Lake Nona will feature more than five million square feet of commercial space, 2,200 hotel rooms, 30,000 residents and more than 100 shops and restaurants. Focused on sustainable design and healthy living, Lake Nona is recognized by Cisco as the only designated “Iconic Smart + Connected Community” in the U.S. for its integrated gigabit network – one of only nine such communities in the world.

For more information on Lake Nona, please visit

Central Florida has long been recognized as a top destination for entertainment and hospitality, but the region offers much more. It’s also a burgeoning global center for health care and life sciences. Four pillars of the Central Florida business community are pleased to announce the launch of IQ Orlando, an innovation-focused business partnership concentrated on recruiting and launching life science companies. The University of Central Florida, Tavistock Group, AHG Group, and Florida Hospital will harness their collective strength to provide an ecosystem to grow early and mid-stage companies.

“This is the realization that all four community stakeholders are committed to advancing life science in our community,” said Lars Houmann, President and CEO of Florida Hospital. “United, our efforts will accelerate the process and capitalize on opportunities that could not be achieved alone.”

Goals for IQ Orlando include improving the health of the population, increasing access to care for individuals, and lowering the cost of health care. As part of its mission, IQ Orlando is excited about the potential to partner with companies like SMRxt, a smart sensor and software technology that records, monitors and quantifies the time and dose of patient medication adherence behavior.

“We are evaluating sites across the nation, including Central Florida, in search of strong medical communities and tech hubs for the relocation of our corporate operations and manufacturing headquarters,” said Michael Huffer, CEO of SMRxt. “This region provides rich resources including Lake Nona Medical City, Florida Hospital Health Village, the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, and the UCF College of Medicine. These assets, accompanied by the collective strength of the IQ Orlando partners, would be excellent sources of support and collaboration for our pioneering medical adherence product.”

IQ Orlando is focused on recruiting and launching both national and international health-focused companies.

“These companies we are investing in are looking for a U.S. base to launch their products and services,” said Alan Ginsberg, CEO, The AHG Group. “They will utilize the IQ Orlando ecosystem to do everything from complete the FDA certification process to develop and advance their marketing capabilities.”

As another resource for companies, IQ Orlando is introducing a Digital Health Lab to provide start-ups with a platform to develop and test new enterprise and consumer applications in smart sensors, health care IT, and the Internet of Things. The Digital Health Lab will offer an integral asset to life science start-ups as technology advances. Life sciences have digitized the human genome, medical diagnostics, the medical record, and is now poised to do even more.

“I believe that what will distinguish IQ Orlando is the benefit of having a living lab so innovators can develop their solutions in concert with consumers,” said Rasesh Thakkar, Senior Managing Director of Tavistock Group, developer of Lake Nona, the 7,000 acre, award-winning, health-inspired community anchored by Lake Nona Medical City, one of the nation’s fastest growing life sciences innovation clusters.

IQ Orlando will harness the collective strengths of its founding partners in order to create an environment rich in real-life, functional health resources for companies.

“The power of partnerships drives virtually all of our successful economic development activities in Central Florida, including Medical City, the Florida High Tech Corridor, and the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center in Osceola County, which will develop the next generation of smart sensors,” UCF President John C. Hitt said. “Through our newest partnership venture, IQ Orlando, we look forward to helping our local and state leaders attract high-tech, well-paying jobs that strengthen our innovation economy.”

This announcement took place during the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum, which attracted more than 250 of the nation’s top CEOs, health care innovators and thought leaders to Lake Nona Medical City for three days of collaborative conversation to inspire impactful health innovation.

The afternoon sessions continued an action-packed day, starting with a lively presentation from Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” on what motivates people to change their behavior. He remarked that appealing to a patient’s feelings is more successful in changing behavior than  regurgitating facts. Consequently, doctors should change the way they talk to their patients with respect to chronic but preventable diseases. To him, facts should be presented in a digestible way, which allows the patient to draw an emotional connection to the information.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent from CNN, hosted a panel discussion connecting two seemingly disparate professionals: John Chen, CEO of Blackberry, and Patrick Soon-Shiong, CEO of Nantworks and a cancer researcher pioneer. However, the two are collaborating to take personalized cancer care to new levels. Soon-Shiong’s experience with cancer genomics is being combined with BlackBerry’s specialty in secure mobile communications. Through their partnership, doctors will have immediate and secure mobile-access to a cancer patient’s genome – allowing doctors to provide personalized therapies that treat the specific gene mutation. As a result, this technology allows cancer to be treated more effectively at the molecular level..

This enlightening conversation on personalized cancer care was followed by a spirited panel discussion on the cost of life-changing drugs. John Reed from Roche Pharmaceuticals led the panel, joined by Steve Miller from Express Scripts and Lori Reilly of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Next, Marc Siry, vice president at Comcast, examined how the media can positively impact patient engagement. Siry pointed out that a gulf exists between the media and the medical world – but that doctors can borrow from the media’s ability to appeal to people’s emotions. That’s because emotions change behaviors, and behavior impacts patient engagement and outcomes.

The next session – led by Patrick Geraghty, CEO of GuideWell and Florida Blue – furthered day one’s discussion about how employers can improve the health and wellness of their employees. He and his fellow panelists addressed the economic benefit of employee health programs, using Disney as an example of how new tactics are reaping tangible benefits.

The day ended with an eye-opening discussion on the true cost of mental illness globally. Speakers Husseini Manji, head of Neuroscience at Janssen Research, and Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, outlined the prevalence of mental health issues and the numerous lives lost from it each year. They discussed the need to change the stigma associated with mental health so individuals will more readily talk about it and seek treatment, as with other health issues such as heart disease or diabetes.

Thad Seymour, Jr., president of the Lake Nona Institute, wrapped up the sessions by marveling at the “fire hose” of information that had been shared. As day three dawns, this welcome deluge of data and insights is sure to continue.

Don’t forget to follow the conversation on Twitter us @LN_Institute and join the discussion at #LNIF15.

The second day of the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum was as wide-ranging and interesting as its 250 attendees.

The jam-packed agenda included engaging conversations on such topics as health clusters, big and small data, consumer engagement (and the role media plays in that effort), next-generation cancer therapy, the economics of health care for employers and pharmaceutical companies, and discussions on brain health. Following are some highlights.

The morning kicked off with an energetic discussion lead by Anil Menon, president of Cisco Systems, about the many attributes needed to create and draw smart minds to an innovation cluster. He cited three as the most important: good weather, access to universities, and a strong infrastructure that allows for easy connection to the outside word – not unlike those featured in the Forum’s host community of Lake Nona.

Richard Carmona, former Surgeon General of the United States, took the stage and provided a compelling look into the future of personalized health and its impact on the quality of care. He explained how patients of the not-to-distant future will have their entire health profile – including genomic profile, activity and sleep patterns, and biometric data – stored in the cloud and delivered in real time to doctors.

During the following discussion, Daniel Kraft, executive director and Future Med health care innovator, dove deeper into personalized medicine by addressing the concept of the “quantified self” and how that translates to quantified – or measurable – health. He explained the myriad devices available to individuals, including HealthPatch, a biosensor that continuously captures biometric data and streams it anywhere in the world. He also introduced the idea of building the Uber of Health care – in short, connecting people to and improving their engagement with their own health data.

Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer of CVS Health Corporation, took the stage and delivered a realistic and sobering view into America’s health care spending, and the toll that chronic yet preventable diseases are taking on the system. He affirmed that health care innovations that feed data back to providers will ultimately improve outcomes.

As the morning concluded, Jeff Arnold, founder and CEO of ShareCare, led a star-studded line-up onto the stage, which included Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the “Dr. Oz Show,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent at CNN, and Mark Hyman, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. The panelists first discussed whether self-awareness about actual, not perceived, stress truly impacts behavior. They also announced the beta-launch of the Sharecare app, which monitors voice tone on phone calls and analyzes it for stress factors such as worry, anxiety and anger. The crowd-sourced, adaptive trial will be overseen by Dr. Gupta and results will be released at the 2016 Lake Nona Impact Forum.

Visit this website soon for an overview of the afternoon sessions. Don’t forget to follow the conversation on Twitter us @LN_Institute and join the discussion at #LNIF15.

Lake Nona Institute announced joining the CGI America Commitment to Action during the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum.

Joining the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) in its 2014 Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) Commitment to Action, Lake Nona Institute will develop the ASID Protocols for Health and Wellness in Design. The Lake Nona Institute is the 12th organization to sign on to the three-year ASID commitment to develop integrated education and technology tools that help design professionals create healthier spaces through smarter building design and construction.

“The Lake Nona Institute is at the leading edge of developing a holistic approach to health and wellness in our communities,” said ASID CEO Randy Fiser. “As a partner in developing the ASID Protocols for Health and Wellness in Design they offer their Lake Nona facilities that will enable us to test and refine the protocols we are developing.”

The Lake Nona Institute is a nonprofit, community-focused organization that develops, activates, and measures the impact of innovative technologies and programs that can become global models for building healthy, sustainable, and inspired communities. As a partner in the ASID CGI America Commitment to Action, the Lake Nona Institute will provide venues throughout the Lake Nona community and Lake Nona Medical City to demonstrate and pilot health and wellness design protocols within the context of an integrated community.

“In collaboration with our CGI partners, The Lake Nona Institute is committed to accelerating the planning, design, and construction of healthier living and working spaces by using Lake Nona facilities as test beds and models for healthy design,” said Gloria Caulfield, Director of Health & Wellness for the Lake Nona Institute.

Lake Nona is a 7,000-acre integrated community, which is home to one of the fastest-growing life sciences clusters in the nation, and serves as a model for the design of a comprehensive, healthy community. The Lake Nona Impact Forum annually brings together more than 250 thought leaders from business, academia, government and industry sectors that are driving creative, innovative health and wellness solutions to move the needle on healthcare expenditures nationally and globally.

In 2014, ASID announced its CGI America Commitment to Action to develop health and wellness protocols for design, products, and healthcare that will include Health Product Declarations (HPDs), Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) Certified Products, Evidence-Based Design, Biophilic Design, and Active Design Principles. The protocols will be used by architects and interior designers to create spaces that promote occupant health and wellness across multiple building types and specify the use of healthier products and materials. Ultimately, ASID and its partners will train 40,000 interior designers and architects across the country to use these protocols to create spaces that promote occupants’ health and to specify healthier products and materials.

Lake Nona institute joins the following 11 organizations in the ASID CGI America Commitment to Action: AkzoNobel, Saint-Gobain Corporation/CertainTeed, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Gensler, National Institutes of Health/Health in Buildings Roundtable, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)/Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA), Delos Living/International WELL Building Institute, Meyer Scherer Rockcastle, Ltd. (MSR), Steelcase, The Vitality Institute, and Wolf-Gordon.

For more information on the ASID CGI America Commitment to Action and its partners in developing the Health and Wellness Design Protocols, click here.

Technogym, a world leading company supplying fitness and wellness products, services and solutions, is a contributing sponsor of the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum. Attracting notable speakers and luminaries such as Arianna Huffington, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Lake Nona Impact Forum convenes over 200 thought leaders from business, academia, government and industry sectors who are driving creative, innovative health and wellness solutions, that move the needle on health care expenditures nationally and globally.

“Technogym sits at the crossroads of wellness, health and technology, and our vision to revolutionize health and wellness is well aligned with organizations such as the Lake Nona Institute,” said Nerio Alessandri, President and Founder of Technogym. “Our future depends on people being healthy, and focus on prevention and providing long-term solutions to chronic disease is key.”

Technogym is fully committed to enhancing the wellness goals of consumers by providing trackable and measurable data, including program efficacy and biometric marker changes over time.  Furthermore, through social cause initiatives such as “Let’s Move for a Better World” and partnerships with venerable organizations including the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, and Lake Nona, Technogym is at the epicenter of health oriented movements around the world, including passion causes such as combating childhood obesity.

At Technogym, the mantra of Wellness on the Go, which puts wellness at the forefront of what the company does on a daily basis, is supported by technologically rich equipment and computing platforms that have created a new level of fitness connectivity and deliver measurable health results. Technogym has dedicated years of R&D investment to design the most aesthetic and technologically advanced equipment in the market as well as create the ground-breaking open platform mywellness. This platform allows everyone from consumers to club operators, personal training clinics and corporations to track all their fitness and wellness activities through third party apps, devices and Technogym equipment – and through their mywellness account – to seamlessly measure fitness activities and goals from anywhere in the world.

At the Lake Nona Impact Forum, Technogym will have knowledgeable staff on-site to promote wellness-based activities for the conference attendees. New this year is Technogym’s ‘Chair of Health’ – active sitting Wellness Balls, which will be featured at the Impact Forum to help energize the core and strengthen muscles throughout the day.