Health Innovators snagged an invite to the Orlando Economic Development Commission’s Insider Update on Technology’s Role in Integrated Health & Wellness on August 12th. Hosted in the GuideWell Innovation Center’s theater in the round, it was incredible to be surrounded by so many like minded individuals dedicated to furthering the economic growth of Orlando’s healthtech community.

We were treated to a fantastic panel featuring Gloria Caulfield, the Vice President of Strategic Alliances for Tavistock Development Company; Virgil Christian, the Senior Director of Market Development for USTA; Victor Chu, Co-Founder & CTO of SMRxT; and Renee Finley, the President of GuideWell Innovations. Expertly moderated by Tony Jenkins, Market President at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, the panel focused on why Orlando is in such a prime position for exceptional growth in the healthtech sector.

Gloria Caulfield spoke on how Tavistock is capitalizing on the tidal wave of emerging technologies in Orlando to create the Intelligent Healthy Home. Tavistock has about a dozen partners, each bringing their own expertise and processes, and has combined them together into one, unified homecare solution. This is particularly advantageous from a data perspective, as they can begin to research how they can cluster solutions together to increase homecare impact.

Renee Finley stressed the importance of venues like the GuideWell Innovation Center for nurturing the community and collaborative thought. In Renee’s words, “innovation happens at the collision of great ideas”.  She also spoke on how a thriving ecosystem of collaboration is the only way the get an innovative healthcare startup off the ground. Mentorship, pilot-space, data aggregation of efficacy, public sector funding, private sector funding, VC funding, all of these are necessary, and any one of these pieces individually won’t get you there.

SMRxT, a recent Orlando Transplant, reiterated that point and discussed how different the Orlando ecosystem is from New York. Orlando is open to discuss the real problems hiding behind the scenes in healthcare, and the community seems to genuinely want to work together to solve them.

Virgil Christiansen spoke on the USTA’s decision to bring their new National Campus to Lake Nona, largely driven by how warm and open its business community seemed upon first impression. The new USTA National Campus is utilizing multi-camera video streaming paired with analytics and telemedicine to help prevent injury and improve performance. He left all of Orlando with one request, “Don’t change”.

After the panel, we also got to hear from several of the EDC’s newest investors, like our friend Josh Wilson from Nemours and Tom Harl from High Mark Construction, who all seemed to echo the same thoughts on how important it was to have this type of open community to foster growth for all of our businesses. Closing remarks followed, presented by the EDC Chair, David Fuller, and touched on how much respect he has for native Orlandoians for being so ahead of the curve on what an amazing place this is to call home. He also mentioned how after moving all over the country five separate times for Suntrust, it was Orlando’s thriving community that got him to tell them no when they asked him to move once more.

I want to leave you all with some remarks by moderator extraordinaire Tony Jenkins, whose words echo so much of what we are trying to do with Health Innovators.

“It is key that we all come together. Now that we are bringing the entrepreneurial spirit to healthcare, it is building [not just] a whole network of new business, but also a functioning system of innovation.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Tony.
Thank you to all of the incredible staff at the GuideWell Innovation Center for hosting another great event, and to the Orlando Economic Development Commission for uniting all of these diverse companies under one incredibly innovative umbrella.