Saturday, December 3, 2016




Wraps taken off Middletown Accelerating Proprietary Program at Touro College

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 market.

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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