Amler: "stay connected"
NEWBURGH – Tech innovators, medical professionals and business
owners in the Hudson Valley assembled Friday in Newburgh for the Mid-Hudson
Valley Advanced Manufacturing Technology Conference for a day of learning
and idea sharing regarding the state of technology in the region.
The conference, held in Newburgh, sponsored by the Orange County Industrial
Development Agency, paid specific attention to the evolving medical technology
The IDA has begun facilitating a medical technology smart pod at Touro
College of Osteopathic Medical in Middletown under the umbrella of their
Middletown Accelerating Proprietary Programming (MAPP) initiative that
will be dedicated solely to the development of medical equipment manufacturing
and medical software.
The smart pod, which is one of others within the Accelerator, will act
as center capable of facilitating manufacture and development of medical
technologies when it becomes operational in 2017.
According to the conference’s keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Amler,
vice president for government affairs and dean of the School of Health
Sciences, Practice and Institute of Public Health at New York Medical
College, the medical tech industry has evolved to a point that would have
been unrecognizable just a decade, or so, ago.
“They could either invest a lot of money in a technology that doesn’t
last, doesn’t sustain, and that would be a colossal mistake, or
they could pick the right technologies, make the right investments, and
come out being brilliant and being very successful, and it requires that
hospitals and their leaders stay focused and stay connected with the innovating
business community so they will be knowledgeable and do the research of
their own to know which technologies are the ones that they need to invest
in,” he said.
Amler said innovations like micro-technology for smaller batteries in
medical apparatus, wearable technology for patients that can be tracked
by doctors and 3D printing of prosthetics, are examples of where the medical
tech industry is going. Although he maintained that less “sexy”
technologies, such as proper utilization of vaccinations, should not be
overlooked, there is a huge benefit to be had from entrepreneurs investing
in furthering these new technologies.
“It improves our economy. It improves our slate of people who live
here, in terms of having energy and interest in developing new things
and then in the long run, it improves everybody’s health if it’s
successful,” said Amler. “Some of these projects will not
be successful, but many of them will be and those are the ones that we’ll
remember in the future,” he said.
The MAPP smart pod planned for Touro College is aimed at encouraging local
medical tech innovators to work toward that end, said IDA Chief Operating
Officer Laurie Villasuso.
“We want to create a space to nurture that sort of industry and
to nurture the productivity and to create a hub where people can actually
develop their ideas and grow their product and grow their businesses in
a very targeted way,” she said.
In a time where local medical institutions are struggling financially,
have had to merge with larger entities to ensure quality of care for their
patients, or have had to diminish services, Amler said it will be crucial
for those in financing, or administrative positions, within the industry
to carefully consider which tech endeavors are worth pursuing.
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