The health and biomedical sector has evolved swiftly over the years, particularly as the world faced a pandemic and the public health challenges that followed. The medical breakthroughs and innovation taking place in the Jacksonville region increases its recognition as a medical hotspot in the country.
Examples of this innovation were featured at a recent medical innovation summit held in April with more than 300 health professionals and business leaders in attendance. Twelve experts from six of the area’s hospital systems – Ascension St. Vincent’s, Baptist Health, Brooks Rehabilitation, HCA Florida Memorial Hospital, Mayo Clinic and UF Health Jacksonville – covered a wide range of topics.
- Cardiovascular surgery using robotics and minimally invasive valve replacement in 20 minutes;
- Artificial intelligence in patient records to preemptively identify health challenges based on demographic risks and other factors;
- Advanced home health care through a supply chain of treatment partners which reduces hospital stays, cuts costs and gives patients the chance to heal in comfortable surroundings leading to better outcomes; and
- Virtual reality technology to enhance function and independence in rehabilitation.
All twelve presentations are available to the public.
Northeast Florida’s health care ecosystem is one the largest and most innovative in the nation. With one of only three Mayo Clinics, one of six Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Centers, the UF Proton Therapy Institute and cutting-edge biomedical companies across all disciplines, the seven-county region is seen as an attractive destination for health care investment and talent. With a skilled workforce of more than 90,000, employment growth in the region’s health and biomedical industry outpaces the national average.
In addition to strong hospital systems, the Jacksonville region is home to several medical device manufacturing companies, including Zimmer Biomet, Medtronic, KLS Martin Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Treace Medical Concepts which have a significant presence in the area. Jacksonville-based Johnson & Johnson Vision recently announced a $200 million investment into the expansion of its existing facility, their third in the last eight years. Approximately 1.7 billion disposable contact lenses are manufactured in Jacksonville every year.
As a result, the region’s health information technology (health IT) is thriving as the need for evolving electronic systems that health care professionals – and increasingly, patients – use to store, share and analyze health information grows. Leaders in this space such as Availity, Forcura and others are embedding themselves in Northeast Florida in order to take advantage of the existing medical community and the world-class talent that is prominent in Greater Jacksonville.
The growth and expansion of the health care industry will continue to be a focus for the Jacksonville region. Our exceptional history and visionary approach, highlighted by the Medical Innovation Summit, shows that Jacksonville is and will remain on the leading edge of health care.