Tammy Davis, Reporter, Business People
“The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center introduces the Indiana Connected Health IoT Lab to drive regional growth through connectivity and collaboration in the health-related space.
Still relishing the excitement of learning his team has won funding for a $1.5 million project through the 2018 Regional Innovation Strategies Program, Mike Fritsch’s enthusiasm is infectious.
“This could be a game-changer for our region,” explains the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center’s (NIIC) senior entrepreneur-in-residence and director of revenue development. “We’ll be thinking much more boldly about how to do things.”
The bold thinking Fritsch describes stems from the idea behind the NIIC’s winning project: a collaborative development center called the Indiana Connected Health IoT Lab (Connected Lab). IoT refers to the Internet of Things, a complex network of connections between devices such as cell phones, home appliances and personal electronics via the Internet. While IoT isn’t a new concept, its powerful potential is only beginning to be tapped for health-related industries. Positioned among industry clusters that include medical devices, advanced manufacturing and insurance — combined with local and statewide access to healthcare providers, pharma, health IT and cybersecurity sectors — northeast Indiana offers a geographic advantage and synergy over other areas.
“We have the right ecosystem for this,” says Fritsch. “We’re looking at attracting companies to this area from other states and even internationally and developing Indiana’s strong health care establishments to deliver health care excellence – better quality, better cost, better experience and better patient engagement using IoT.”