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Jacksonville: A Strategic Epicenter of Health Tech

The health tech industry is rapidly transforming the landscape of healthcare, bringing innovation and efficiency to an industry that is not only crucial to the well-being of society but is projected to grow globally to $707.7 billion by 2032. From telemedicine and electronic medical records to wearable devices and robotics, the integration of technology into healthcare is improving patient outcomes, reducing costs and making care more accessible than ever before.

As home to one of only three Mayo Clinics and one of six Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Centers in the country, the Jacksonville region is a leading healthcare ecosystem.   Additionally, the region is at the forefront of the development of advanced treatment technologies, exemplified by the award-winning UF Proton Therapy Institute.

Northeast Florida’s educational assets have laid a local foundation of highly developed talent, further bolstering the region’s venerable reputation in healthcare. There are a variety of relevant programs and degrees offered at these institutions that create a pipeline of workforce-ready professionals. Health informatics, an evolving field at the intersection of systems data and healthcare, is offered as an advanced degree at both Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida. Additionally, Florida State College at Jacksonville and St. Johns River State College both offer health information technology programs.

The region’s colleges and universities play a crucial role in the higher quality of life that can be found here, which has helped healthcare tech companies recruit and retain top talent. “Jacksonville has been an important part of Johnson & Johnson Vision’s history, but it’s more important that Jacksonville is critical to our future,” says Peter Menziuso, Company Group Chairman of Johnson & Johnson Vision. “We keep making investments here because we find the talent we need to fuel our growth, and the region provides an environment where they can grow and be successful.”

As technology increasingly plays a larger part in the healthcare landscape, Northeast Florida is a logical, strategic epicenter of health tech.

Leading-edge medical companies – including Johnson & Johnson Vision, Medtronic, McKesson, Availity, Clearsense, Forcura and others – have a significant presence in the Jacksonville region. Each is leveraging the power of technology in their own way to help improve healthcare processes and care outcomes.

  • Johnson & Johnson Vision not only produces more than 1.7 billion disposable contact lenses at their Jacksonville Global Headquarters each year, but leverages technology to meet their larger mission of improving eye health around the world.
  • Medtronic is leading the intersection of healthcare technology and biomedical engineering through the development of instruments that alleviate pain and restore health.
  • Availity operates the largest real-time information network in healthcare, connecting 2 million providers, health plans and partners.
  • Clearsense provides comprehensive technology support for healthcare organizations in value-based care initiatives with services around data governance, analytics and more.
  • Forcura is revolutionizing the home healthcare space through their platform that simplifies document workflow, data exchange and secure communication between healthcare providers and home health delivery providers.

This strong set of corporate anchors is leading to the infusion of a host of health tech startups and innovators, and the region is actively supporting those efforts.  The JAX Chamber’s Open Innovation Center is focused on assisting early-stage companies find their footing and establish their networks in the area – this was further amplified by the region’s Medical Innovation Summit, which hosted more than 300 health professionals and business leaders from both the area’s hospital systems and healthcare firms. These foundations help accelerate the growth of these new companies by creating connections with larger organizations and further enhance the overall structure of healthcare technology in the region.

As technology continues to evolve and provide more opportunities to improve patient care, the Jacksonville region will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of healthcare. Northeast Florida’s strength in both life sciences and technology services is unique in the global economic landscape, and merging these strengths into a defined focus provides a great foundation for health tech companies and the talent that drives them.