Health IT has new home

October 10, 2013

Center aims to transform healthcare through collaboration on the latest in health IT.

Photo by Julia BrownAfter nearly 10 years in the making, The Global Center for Health Innovation has opened in Cleveland. The facility aims to transform healthcare by displaying and collaborating on the latest in health and healthcare information technology, innovation, education and commerce through permanent showroom spaces, programs and virtual offerings. 

According to Dave Johnson, director of public relations and marketing for the center, the concept of the facility was envisioned in 2004 by Delos "Toby" Cosgrove, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic as a place where hospital administrators could test and buy medical products. Originally called the Cleveland Medical Mart, both the concept and the name eventually evolved. 

"This is the 'Epcot Center' of healthcare." -Dave Johnson

"The name change is really reflective of how the building has changed its vision," he says. "The connotation of 'Medical Mart' was like Walmart or Kmart and sounded like a mall. The Global Center for Health Innovation is a building with aspirational visions." 

It was eventually realized that the only way to have competing companies in the same space was to make it a collaborative environment.

"[The model] changed because the industry demanded that it be changed," he says. "Now, the mission of the building is to be a center for innovation in healthcare-innovation through collaboration," he says. "Sure, there will be competion, but the idea is to have nowhere else in the world that can showcase the latest and upcoming technology in healthcare that will ultimately improve patient outcomes, access to healthcare and lower costs."

The 235,000 square foot, four-story building has nearly 100,000 square feet of permanent showroom space on various themed floors: health and home; people, patients and caregivers; clinical spaces; and healthcare information technology. Single vendor showrooms will emphasize technology-based products to view and demonstrate, whereas multi-vendor areas will demonstrate contemporary healthcare delivery and information technology. The center combined with the adjoining Cleveland Convention Center make up a 1,000,000 square foot campus. 

"This is the 'Epcot Center' of healthcare," Johnson says. "People will be excited to go and see what technology is available today and what will be available in the future."

A recent ribbon cutting ceremony marked the completion of Phase I construction. Four completed showrooms occupied by Cardinal Health, GE Healthcare, the University Hospitals/Philips collaboration and Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) were also previewed.

HIMSS will be operating its Interoperability Showcase on the fourth floor of the center. Stakeholders will be able to test the functionality of emerging products through virtual and in-person interactive simulations of clinical scenarios and observe how the technology can improve patient care. HIMSS also plans to have a rotating series of exhibits surrounding hot topics in IT. According to Johnson, 100,000 people are estimated to visit the space alone. 

 "There are so many businesses that are developing devices and want to make sure that they’re compatible," says Johnson. “Health IT is exploding right now."

The third floor will house the University Hospitals/Phillips collaboration as they work with Case Western Reserve Medical Center's Department of Radiology to showcase the latest in CT scanning technology. Level two will be home to both Cardinal Health and GE Healthcare. While Cardinal Health will center its space around nutrition and healthcare, GE Healthcare's Disease Pathway Journey will take visitors on virtual walkthroughs of various diseases, their symptoms, diagnoses, treatments and post-treatments by using the stories of fictional patients. 

"Virtually and with real equipment, we'll be able to show the pieces of GE Healthcare equipment that, for example, treat breast cancer in a hospital," he says. "There's a general public application in that people can just walk in off the street and go to GE's space to learn about breast cancer, Alzheimer's or heart disease, or it could be a buying partner for an entire hospital system that comes in and is interested in GE equipment."

A visitor’s center hosted by the four main hospitals-the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, MetroHealth Medical Center and Sisters of Charity-will occupy the first floor along with the State of the Art Home, a space which will pull together available technologies that assist people with physical and/or mental disabilities in their homes.

Completion of Phase II, which is scheduled for February 2014, will include the opening of 12 additional showrooms. The general public will have access to the center upon completion of Phase III, which is scheduled for fall 2014.

Other tenants in the facility will include:

  • BioEnterprise/Team NEO

  • Black Diamond Video

  • BraceMart

  • Chemsultants International

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

  • Cisco

  • Cleveland Clinic

  • Forbo Flooring Systems

  • Gleeson Construction

  • Hill-Rom

  • Hyland Software

  • Johnson Controls

  • Norman Noble 

  • MCPc

  • MetroHealth Medical Center

  • SelectCare

  • Siemens

  • SmartShape

  • Steris Corp.

Northeast Ohio is home to the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, MetroHealth Medical Center, Summa Health System and Akron General, as well as other leading medical institutions. More than 700 bioscience companies call the region home and Cleveland-area healthcare startups lead the Midwest in attracting investments, bringing in nearly $200 million the past two years.