Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey

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CIANJ President's Message

"Does the ACA Leave Space for Innovation?"



by John Galandak, June 2015 COMMERCE Magazine Column

This February marked the 53rd anniversary of John Glenn’s first manned orbital space flight, and one of NASA’s most significant contributions is the new technologies and products developed for the space program that have found their way into modern medicine.

Called “spinoffs,” these include digital imaging for breast cancer detection, laser angioplasty and medical ultrasound. In addition, implantable and external insulin pumps, which are based on technology used on the Mars Viking spacecraft, have aided insulin-dependent diabetics. These computerized pumps can infuse insulin at a pre-programmed rate, allowing more precise control of blood sugar level and eliminating the need for daily injections.

“Our quality and standard of living in this country is due, literally, to scientific advancements we got from the space program,” explains College of Aeronautics Dean Capt. Winston Scott (USN, Ret.), a former astronaut who flew on two space shuttle missions.

As the space program has inspired medicine to boldly go where no one has gone before, many experts believe that harnessing technology in the delivery of medical care will result in lower costs that can be coupled with the desired goal of expanding the accessibility of healthcare sought through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To address the challenges presented by the ACA, CIANJ’s April Healthcare Roundtable featured a special presentation by Rep. Frank Pallone, during which he provided a unique perspective on the evolution of the law and its implementation moving forward.

He led a panel discussion of legal and industry experts that helped us to examine how the law affects health plans and coverage, while also providing insights on court decisions and possible legislative actions that could reshape the law and its scope.

The experts—Gibbons P.C. Counsel Christine Stearns, Esq., NJ Association of Health Plans Vice President Sarah M. Adelman and LeClairRyan Shareholder Neil Ekblom, Esq.—offered clear evidence that reducing healthcare costs was a focus of the ACA, but what does it mean for innovation? Will it inspire better patient care and medicines, too?

Technology will play an important role in any cost-savings initiatives, and one possible sign of progress was a recent pairing of IBM’s Watson supercomputer with some tech industry giants.

IBM is collaborating with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic to create new health-based offerings that leverage information collected from personal health, medical and fitness devices. The results will be better insights, real-time feedback and recommendations to improve everything from personal health and wellness to acute and chronic care. These relationships are non-exclusive, and IBM anticipates many more companies to leverage the Watson Health Cloud platform.

Johnson & Johnson will collaborate with IBM to create intelligent coaching systems centered on preoperative and postoperative patient care, including joint replacement and spinal surgery. Solutions will be mobile-based, accessing the Watson Health Cloud and leveraging IBM Watson’s cognitive capabilities. Johnson & Johnson will also look to launch new health apps targeting chronic conditions, which currently cost consumers as much as 80 percent of the $7 trillion in global healthcare spending.

Medtronic will leverage the Watson Health Cloud insights platform to collaborate with IBM around delivery of new highly personalized care management solutions for people with diabetes. The solutions will receive and analyze patient information and data from various
Medtronic devices, including insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, and use this information to provide dynamic, personalized diabetes management strategies to patients and their providers.

While the uncertainty that has come with the ACA has been bad for business, we are nonetheless working with our members to live within its new rules, and hope that the ACA will not discourage discovery and innovation, key ingredients in the “American dream,” and the DNA of business success and economic growth.

Instead, we hope that it serves as a catalyst for reducing costs while improving patient outcomes and the overall quality of healthcare in the United States. The most likely way to accomplish this is by harnessing the power of innovation and developing medically
related applications of existing technologies.

As our nation struggles to find the dollars to continue in the entrepreneurial tradition that propelled us to the stars, CIANJ will continue to support free enterprise and business-friendly policies here on Earth, and especially in Trenton.

To view the complete June issue of COMMERCE Magazine, click here.

Legislative One-on-One Dinner

Our members enjoyed a lively discussion moderated by television anchor Steve Adubato, Jr.




88th Annual Luncheon

October 30th, 201511:00 am | Register Now

Business 2 Business Council

Through the Business to Business Council, CIANJ is seeking to provide opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs to gain the contacts, knowledge, and information necessary to grow their businesses profitably. The B2B Council events will connect them to opportunities across New Jersey’s diverse business landscape.

Business Impact Group (BIG)

BIG has joined CIANJ and will be working with the Small Business Council to bring value to the small business sector within CIANJ and the New Jersey Small business community. BIG operates as a closed group within CIANJ similar to the CEO Roundtable providing an opportunity for its members to gain insights in a peer-to-peer atmosphere.

CEO Roundtable

The CEO Roundtable provides a forum for chief executive officers or business owners to seek advice and share experiences. Participants freely discuss issues they confront daily, such as compensations, financing, dealing with family members, relocations, sale of a business and many of the topics.

Environmental Business Council

Since its inception, the EBC’s mission has been to recognize the important economic role the environmental industry plays within the state, to demonstrate that environmental issues are also business issues, and to teach the business and regulatory communities that environmental responsibility and economic growth are fundamentally related

Financial Decision Makers Roundtable

CIANJ’s Financial Decision Makers Roundtable is intended for senior executives in key financial positions within their firms, as well as CIANJ members and invited guests. The purpose of this roundtable is to share critical information related to financial decision making and to allow attendees to develop professional relationships with each other. CPE credits are offered.

Generation Now: A Young Professionals Or

Generation Now is a group of young professionals in alliance with one another for the purpose of education, networking and peer-to-peer exchange leading to personal and professional growth.

Healthcare Roundtable

CIANJ’s Healthcare Roundtable is a forum for professionals who work within a spectrum of related disciplines to interact with one another by discussing critical issues that affect healthcare, as well as to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and develop relationships that enhance business

Human Resources Council

CIANJ’s Human Resource Roundtable is intended to advocate HR awareness by providing information and resources in various HR disciplines. It educates those responsible for HR in their organizations by sharing knowledge to solve common challenges. As an HRCI Approved Provider, attendees can earn continuing education credits toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR

Manufacturing Roundtable

The Manufacturing Roundtable is intended to be a forum for professionals who work in complimentary disciplines to discuss critical issues that affect manufacturing, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and to develop relationships that enhance business

Marketing Roundtable

Without a savvy marketing strategy, any product or service is doomed to failure. Industry leaders guide this roundtable as it helps businesses promote their brand, harness social media, and determine the best ways to identify new customers and clients

Real Property Roundtable

CIANJ’s Real Property Roundtable is intended to be a forum for professionals who work in complementary disciplines to discuss critical issues that affect real property, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and to develop relationships that enhance business

Technology For Business Roundtable

The Technology For Business Roundtable is intended to be a forum for professionals who work in complementary disciplines to discuss critical issues that affect technology, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and to develop relationships that enhance business.

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