The 650-acre health and life sciences park known as Lake Nona Medical City in Orlando is one of only nine “Smart+Connected” communities sponsored by Cisco. And it’s the only city in the U.S. with this distinction.
It’s still focused on adding connected devices and getting smarter.
“Cisco really believes that the things we are doing here and the technology backbone will be a place where you will be able to implement new systems and new ideas and integrate them into homes in different ways,” says Rob Adams, VP of residential development at Lake Nona.
The flourishing mini-metropolis in Orlando was conceived and created by the global conglomerate Tavistock Group and has garnered a lot of attention – including an in-depth article from Fortune Magazine.
While prominent medical communities exist in major cities such as Cambridge, Mass. and Saint Paul, Minn., Lake Nona’s Medical City is set to truly be the first of its kind to incorporate a smart community within one of these medical hubs.
Tech and Health Innovations
Lake Nona already has an intelligent digital structure. Tavistock Group has teamed up with GE to install energy efficient appliances and LED and CFL lighting in the community’s homes.
It has also paired up with the University of Central Florida and GuideWell, a facet of Blue Cross Blue Shield, for branding its healthcare innovations.
With these collaborative ventures into both tech and healthcare, Tavistock Group hopes to create what Adams calls “the intelligent home prototype” at Lake Nona.
It’s basically the community’s version of the smart home. “We are building a three unit townhome building which will showcase some of the latest technologies that are available,” says Adams.
The company is looking to complete this project by the end of the year.
Concentrating on Connectivity
One of the main focuses, right now, at Lake Nona is broadband connectivity.
Adams knows this is the first step toward connecting smart home devices. Tavistock Group has formed a relationship with Dais Technologies to ensure the community’s cyber connections for digital TV and Internet are high quality.
That type of home control is especially important to the type of homebuyers moving into the city, which are typically professionals filling high-profile positions within the Medical City.
“This technology backbone is important to them both in how they live their personal lives and also professionally, as it would give them more ability to work from the home,” says Adams.
“So when they come to our communities and see this connectivity, and also some of the design pieces we have in place as far as architecture, it’s very attractive.”
The Life Project
Tavistock Group is also looking to include aging-in-place options for the senior community at Lake Nona, utilizing what is being deemed “The Life Project.”
Adams describes this initiative as a multi-million dollar, long-term health and wellness study of employees, residents and visitors to see how behavior can be modified and what changes can be made to improve long-term health.
This project will feature a strong technological core, with an emphasis on internet research and even online life coaches for health-based issues.
“We are here. This is a long term project for us,” says Adams. And what a promising future it is proving to be.
STAY TUNED: We’ll be covering the evolution of this project!