Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Encouraging Positive Change in Healthcare


No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent...

John Donne

It's well established that teamwork and collaboration are at the heart of any thriving care team. What is the history and diagnosis, what needs to be done for the patient, what has been done already, what has and hasn't been successful, and who is responsible for carrying out each task? Quickly accessing this information is absolutely paramount to a patient's success, and yet, in spite of this knowledge, the healthcare industry itself remains challenged with silos, fragmentation, and disorganization.

Beyond the care team and from a business perspective, these industry challenges also plague the health and medical innovation sector. Protecting trade secrets and competing for market share are not only realities but good business practice. However, let us be mindful that having a disinterest or aversion to knowledge sharing and collaboration goes against the core principles of medical innovation. By looking at each other as competitors instead of as compatriots we are hobbling the industry's ability to evolve alongside market trends.

It begs the question - Are we collectively and, perhaps unwittingly, slowing the pace of progress at the expense of patients to protect information that, while proprietary, may not affect a "solution's" success by way of efficacy, acceptance, or adoption? In a noisy landscape filled with emerging products and solutions, is it feasible to expect that they alone can independently transform healthcare? Maybe for a few unicorns such as 23andMe, but it is the rare exception, not the rule.

So, the question becomes, if teamwork and collaboration work well for the altruistic side of healthcare, can it also work for the business side? In many industries it might not, but almost all aspects of medicine are driven by one key factor, human health and wellness. Healthcare is one of few fields where rising tides truly do raise all ships. Hence the inherent value of fostering a connected community - one that lowers defensive walls and connects us to learn about the people, ideas, and opportunities to collaborate across borders of innovation.

Health Innovators, the largest health and medical innovation community in the Southeast United States, has committed themselves to nurture and curate Central Florida's healthcare ecosystem. It serves as Florida's neutral hub for collaborative discussion and education.

In June, Health Innovators hosted an event at the Florida Hospital Nicholson Center designed to bring forward eager collaborators from across the healthcare ecosystem. There were young startups and entrepreneurs mingling with leaders from Adventist Health System, UCF's School of Medicine, Orlando Health, Nemours Children's Hospital as well as community driven initiatives including Lake County's Economic Growth Commission, and the Orlando Tech Association. It turns out that a meetup with surgical robotics simulators can serve as a modern-day water cooler for medical professionals.

"Listening to entrepreneurs in healthcare share their stories was inspirational and motivating. The IP (intellectual property) lawyer added a window into realism and protection" said Roger Smith, Chief Technical Officer for the Nicholson Center, and Health Innovators' moderator.

"Hearing from the diverse panel during this event, as well as being able to tour spaces that encourage positive change in healthcare, emphasizes the complexity of healthcare innovation as well as the potential. This complexity requires a team with diverse skills for success," added Beth Rudloff, Chief Innovation Officer for MedSpeaks, a strategic hub and voice for innovators.

The Florida Hospital Nicholson Center for Simulation and Training is positioned as a natural facilitator for the development of a stronger health-tech community, and not just for Health Innovators. The Center has created community based partnerships with the Orlando Science Center and Adventist University of Health Sciences to encourage an interest in STEM among Orlando's youth. They also recently collaborated with Experience Kissimmee on an event called MasterMind, aimed to increase the efficacy of medical events, with MasterMind attendees receiving 15 hours of Continuing Education credit, as approved by the Convention Industry Council. The Nicholson Center even wrote up a few blog pieces to assist medical event planners who were unable to attend the MasterMind conference.

What are some other examples of collaboration inside of Central Florida's health-tech community? We've seen the Children's Home Society of Florida begin to work with The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, increasing the reach of pediatric behavioral health services in Florida. The GuideWell Innovation CoRE is another community highlight, both as a host to a variety of immersive events and as a home to many entrepreneurs anchored out of their uniquely designed coworking space where they benefit from GuideWell's (and parent company Florida Blue's) expansive network. And, UCF's Business Incubation Program has partnered in collaboration with MedSpeaks to launch a new 10-week education track focused on health innovation and entrepreneurship.

Beyond just private and community organizations, Orlando's largest hospital systems are also doing their part to create collaboration within our community. Florida Hospital has launched the Alliance & Innovation Exchange, where they are actively seeking, engaging, and funding startups and technologies looking to solve problems facing both patients and physicians. This has lead to success stories like SMRxT, who were able to perfect their existing algorithm using data provided by Florida Hospital's large patient population. There is also Orlando Health's Community Grant Program which doubled the number of recipients this year, including programs like the Zebra Coalition for Youth and Orange Blossom Family Health.

Many of these companies could easily view one another as competitors, as they are operating in the same geography and serving the needs of the same patients and customers. However, through unguarded discussion they are able to cooperate and, while still generating revenue, create something bigger than themselves and bigger than any single node in the healthcare ecosystem. A thriving, healthy, community.

E pluribus unum - Out of many, one.

Call for Inventors!

Are you interested in showcasing your innovation?

Tell us about it by emailing

or call 407-917-7075

Upcoming Events:

Health Innovators Population Health Talk

September 12 | Orlando, FL |

AHA's Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD)

September 24-27| |Marriott World Center, Orlando |

Orlando Caregiver Accelerator Pitch

October 11, 2017 | GuideWell Innovation Center, Orlando, FL

BioFL Annual Conference Oct 15-17, 2017 | The Vinoy, St. Petersburg, FL |

Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: