Florida is walking the walk for medtech

I was invited down to Florida recently to view some of the advances they’ve made in the medical device space. Representatives from that state have been making a lot of noise about the technology that’s being developed there, so I thought it would be a good idea to see if they were just “talking the talk.”

November 30, 2011

2 Min Read
Florida is walking the walk for medtech

I was invited down to Florida recently to view some of the advances they’ve made in the medical device space. Representatives from that state have been making a lot of noise about the technology that’s being developed there, so I thought it would be a good idea to see if they were just “talking the talk.”

My first stop was at a place called The Nicholson Center, a very high-tech training and education center for minimally invasive surgical techniques. Located in Celebration, Fla., a suburb of Orlando, the 54,000-ft.2 center claims to be the world’s largest facility solely dedicated to physician training. With a goal of bringing together physicians, clinical industry leaders, and researchers, the center is expected to train more than 20,000 people from around the world each year. The center had been housed inside the nearby Florida Hospital until recently. It’s now in its own very high-tech building. The official grand opening occurred last month.



While I was touring the new facility, a physician was being trained on a daVinci robot (one of six that are housed at the facility). I had never seen a live daVinci robot, so it was quite an experience. He was practicing tying sutures.

I was informed that the center is home to more surgical stations and trains more physicians on the daVinci robot than any other location in the world. Other technology that I saw on-site included more than 40 fully-equipped endoscopic surgical stations, two 935-ft.2 team training operating rooms, and a medical simulation and robotics center.

Last year, the Department of Defense awarded the Nicholson Center a $4.2 million Congressional Directed Grant to study ways that tele-medicine technology can be used in military surgery. Imagine a doctor in Florida performing surgery on a soldier in Afghanistan using a daVinci robot. The grant was secured by Congressman Alan Grayson with support from Senator Bill Nelson.

My second stop on the trip was to a hospital in downtown Orlando, aptly named Florida Hospital Orlando. While this is a fully-functional working hospital, it’s also home to the InnovatOR Suite, a live surgical environment for clinicians and medical device designers to innovate and stimulate product development.

www.floridahospitalneuro.com/or-future

The InnovatOR Suite is a 35,000-ft.2 neurosurgical center that features eight operating rooms, each outfitted with the latest intra-operative imaging systems. The imaging technology can be used for both diagnostic and intra-operative purposes. For example, the 3-Tesla MRI system provides real-time information during a surgery, unlike traditional MRI systems, that are generally used before or after surgery is completed. Now a physician can confirm the success of a surgery while the patient is still on the operating table.




That’s just the tip of the iceberg at the InnovatOR Suite. With a host of partners helping to fund the project, there is plenty of innovation still to come.

Richard Nass

Sign up for the QMED & MD+DI Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like