Thinking big in Medical City

What's remarkable about this is how quickly all this has happened
By Healthcare IT News
04:57 PM
Lake Nona Medical City

To say that the developers of Lake Nona Medical City think big would be no exaggeration. Medical City is a 650-acre health and life sciences park that is part of a 7,000-acre mixed development that encompasses homes, schools, a corporate park, commercial entities and retail shops – $2 billion in construction – all near the Orlando International Airport.

"What's remarkable about this is how quickly all this has happened. It's given us this energy," said Lake Nona's Thaddeus Seymour Jr., who spoke Monday at a HIMSS14 Views from the Top session titled "Building a Healthy City One Gigabit at a Time." 

Lake Nona Medical City was born of the idea that a cluster of healthcare entities would spur collaboration and innovation.

Calling the site home are University of Central Florida Health Sciences, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, VA Medical Center, Nemours Children's Hospital and the University of Florida Academic & Research Center.

Nemours, one of the largest pediatric health systems in the country, opened a new hospital on the Medical City campus in October of 2012. The VA Center is slated to open in the fall.

Key to making the project work are collaboration and technology, said Seymour, who leads planning, marketing, sales and business development for Lake Nona, and Michael Voll Jr., vice president of Dais Technologies. 

"We looked at technology really as a fourth utility," said Voll, who is in charge of all aspects of technology and telecommunications for the Lake Nona community. 

"Everything that we have is becoming connected," Voll said. "Our shoes, sensors in our wristbands. It's changing the way cities work."

Among the project's technology partners are Cisco and GE Healthcare. Together, along with other partners, they are building a health city one gigabit at a time.