Lafayette Parish public school students could soon be on their way to having their own personal electronic health records following a Monday morning unveiling of the vision for Lafayette’s “Living Lab for Health Innovation.”

UL Lafayette officials, along with LCG, LUS Fiber and the nonprofit FiberCorps members laying the Living Lab groundwork, revealed Monday the role Lafayette plans to play in the US Ignite effort through the creation of Lafayette’s “Living Lab for Health Innovation.”

Louisiana DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein was in Lafayette Monday to help celebrate and explain the city's new role as a "Living Lab for Health Innovation."

Lafayette was among the 25 cities across the country chosen in June to hop on the US Ignite bandwidth wagon, an effort to bring national focus to next-generation technologies in six areas of “national priority.” The designation for the Hub City came during a formal announcement and US Ignite kickoff event held at the White House.

The US Ignite initiative will center its efforts on using high-speed technology applications to better services in the following areas of public interest: advanced manufacturing, health IT, transportation, education and workforce development, clean energy, and emergency preparedness and public safety.

Lafayette’s focus will be the creation of a “Living Lab for Health Innovation,” making Lafayette a “community-scale test bed for health care innovators to test their ideas in real-world settings .... defining, designing and developing solutions to the many challenges facing health care today.”

The Living Lab will focus on two projects in coming months that intertwine technology and the health care sector. The first is working with Microsoft and its HealthVault technology to bring personal electronic health records to each student. According to a Living Lab release, “parents who opt-in will, for example, be able to manage and share their kids’ immunization records with the school, without having to bring copies at the beginning of each school year.”

The second iniative, Aging in Place, will use tele-medicine, tele-health technologies to help the health care industry accommodate the influx of baby boomers in need of services. Using LUSFiber, those health services could be virtually placed in the homes of ageing patients:

“The Living Lab is a place where the most innovative and transformational solutions are created, piloted, verified, validated and documented, and disseminated,” said Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, Director, Center for Business and Information Technologies and Site Director for the NSF Center for Visual and Decision Informatics. “If your solution works in Lafayette, and we can prove that it is scalable to the State of Louisiana, you now have a blueprint to take your ideas nationwide.” He added, “We seek to catalyze initiatives in digital health, tele-medicine and tele-health technologies, and advanced healthcare analytics.

The Living Lab is interested in recruiting the best minds, entrepreneurs and companies from across the globe, while developing the next-generation technology innovations and knowledge-economy workforce for the health industry.

For more information on the Living Lab and its initiatives, contact CBIT Director Kolluru at 482-0611.

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