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A Community Wellness Laboratory

Posted By Prucia Buscell, Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lake Nona, a planned community within the city limits of Orlando Florida, is being hailed as a living laboratory for learning how we can be and stay healthy. Planners say a carefully designed Lake Nona Medical City, already anchored by six major institutions, will create a complex of medical practice and research that fosters innovations in disease prevention and new insights into wellness. Fast Company's fastcoexist calls Lake Nona one of the top 13 health stories of 2012.

The community is already home to the Orlando VA Medical center, the University of Central Florida's Health and Sciences Campus, and the Sanford-Burnham Medical research Institute. Thad Seymour, president of the Lake Nona Institute, told Fast Company he expects the community of 7,000 residents will grow to about 50,000 as the "innovation cluster" develops. Lake Nona home sales have been brisk, despite a weak housing market in the state. The Lake Nona Institute, a nonprofit supported by private and corporate donations, governs the community's heath, wellness and technological initiatives. The community is being developed by the Tavistock Group, a private investment company.

At a recent Lake Nona gathering of executives from hospitals, pharmaceutical, insurance and technology companies, and universities and research centers, Seymour told the Orlando Sentinel that "the greatest innovations have happened at the intersection of disciplines" and that "we're hungry to learn from other smart people doing interesting things in other places." The Sentinel story quoted one attendee, Daniel Kraft, MD, a pediatric hematologist and executive director at FutureMed, as saying some years hence a colonoscopy may be performed by swallowing a pill and a hand-held device used at home may determine eyeglass prescriptions.

Johnson & Johnson's Wellness and Prevention, Inc. is working with the Lake Nona Institute to conduct a longitudinal study of health and wellness of people living and working in Lake Nona. The goals include an improved understanding of modifiable risk factors for disease, reduced incidence of chronic disease, reducing participants' RealAge by ten percent, a health model for the rest of the country, and a new data base of health information. The study would examine biomarkers and genetic assessments that predict the likelihood of disease, and online personal health assessments of participants that look at life style impact. Interventions through a variety of local health care settings would be available, potentially offering insights on improved provision of care.

Learn about new world-wide toilet technology, new devices and new apps, and some beyond Star-Wars inventions that protect and improve health in the fastcoexist story about new developments in 2012.

Tags:  apps  buscell  community  complexity matters  health  technology 

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