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Healthcare

It’s not by accident that the State of Utah boasts one of the nation’s healthiest populations. The Beehive State has a long history devoted to improving the health of its citizenry and of the world. From historic medical innovations, such as the Kolff artificial heart, to rich genetic research, to the launch of one of the nation’s first innovative health exchanges, Avenue H, Utah has long been a healthcare innovator and leader.

BioTech Research Projects and Initiatives in Utah

Utah Population Database (UPDB) at the University of Utah is one of the world’s richest sources of in-depth information that supports research on genetics, epidemiology, demography and public health. For more than 30 years, researchers at the University of Utah and other institutions have used the database to identify and study individuals and families that have higher than normal incidence of cancer or other diseases, to analyze patterns of genetic inheritance, and to identify specific genetic mutations.

Utah Biobank Initiative (UBI) is working to create a multi-institutional biorepository comprised of biospecimens and relevant data including demographic, medical and environmental information about the donors.

The Nano Institute, the Brain Institute and the Department of Bioengineering are housed in the University of Utah’s 208,000 square-foot multidisciplinary James L. Sorenson Molecular Technology Building, a USTAR Innovation Center, which also features a nanofabrication facility and extensive microscopy and materials characterization suite. The Nano Institute, for example, is focused on the development of nano-based diagnostics and therapeutics. It is also working to improve the performance of implants and promote functional regeneration of tissue, along with work on polymer innovations for gene therapy and enhanced delivery of therapeutics.

The Huntsman Cancer Institute is noted for its contributions in identifying the genetic mutations responsible for inherited susceptibility to a number of cancers. It is also researching experimental therapeutics and is working toward early-phase clinical trials.

The University of Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science is a collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare, University Health Care, Utah Department of Health and the Salt Lake City Veteran’s Administration to build on the university’s strengths in genetics and bioinformatics. The organization was awarded a $20.4 million grant to continue its efforts.

Brigham Young University has ongoing faculty research in molecular diagnostics, cancer-related drugs and genetics, Alzheimer’s disease risk factors and more.

The University of Utah Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute is creating new image analysis techniques to enable the visualization of complex and rich scientific data. It is also home to the Center for Integrative Biomedical Computing (CIBC), which is producing open-source software tools for biomedical image-based modeling, biomedical simulation and estimation, and the visualization of biomedical data.

The Utah Rural Scholars Program prepares students from rural Utah for admission into training programs for medical, dental and other health professions.

The Utah Telehealth Network (UTN) links patients in rural areas to healthcare providers across the state, country and the world with leading-edge telecommunications technology. UTN provides rural patients and providers with access to services that are usually available only in more populated urban areas.

BioInnovations Gateway “BiG” is a life science incubator located in the Granite Technical Institute. It currently houses 14 life science start-up companies, primarily in the medical device and biotech areas, that have access to a full machine shop and well equipped wet lab. High school students have experiential learning opportunities through internships.

Utah State University’s USTAR Program is supporting applied nutrition, veterinary diagnostics and infectious disease, and synthetic bio-manufacturing research and business development.

Highlights

  • Utah consistently ranks among the healthiest U.S. states. (United Health Foundation)
  • Utah has the lowest rates of cancer deaths and heart disease in the nation (United Health Foundation)
  • In 2013, Utah was awarded a State Innovation Models grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Healthcare Leadership

Utah Health Innovation Plan

Though Utah is one of the nation’s healthiest states, Governor Gary R. Herbert remains committed to further improving the health of its citizenry. In 2011, Governor Herbert directed the Utah Department of Health to begin a health system transformation. The Utah Health Innovation Plan has since been launched and is in progress to achieve its vision of improving healthcare value, which is centered on establishing better health, better healthcare and lower cost.

Avenue H

Utah was one of the nation’s first states to launch its own health exchange, Avenue H.
Avenue H is an internet-based portal that enables small business owners to offer affordable health benefits to their employees. Avenue H also connects individuals who are unable to access group coverage to major insurance organizations and thousands of brokers.

  • Three major healthcare providers are participating: UnitedHealthcare, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and SelectHealth. Together, they offer more than 100 insurance plan options.
  • Businesses with 2-50 employees are eligible to participate in the Avenue H defined contribution marketplace. Participating companies contribute a defined amount toward their employees’ health insurance policies. Employees use that contribution to select the best coverage for their needs.
  • Individuals without group coverage are also eligible and encouraged to participate.

 

Utah’s Hospitals Rank High

 

Primary Children’s Medical Center
Nationally ranked in 5 pediatric specialties:

  • cardiology and heart surgery
  • gastroenterology
  • neurology and neurosurgery
  • orthopedics
  • urology

LDS Hospital
6 high-performing specialties

University of Utah Health Care
7 high-performing specialties

Intermountain Medical Center
8 high-performing specialties

Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital
3 high-performing specialties

Utah Valley Regional Medical Center
5 high-performing specialties

St. Mark’s Hospital
2 high-performing specialties

Timpanogos Regional Hospital
2 high-performing specialties

Dixie Regional Medical Center
1 high-performing specialty

Sources: 2013 U.S. News World Report Best Hospitals

 

BioTech Research Projects and Initiatives in Utah

 

Utah Population Database (UPDB) at the University of Utah is one of the world’s richest sources of in-depth information that supports research on genetics, epidemiology, demography and public health. For more than 30 years, researchers at the University of Utah and other institutions have used the database to identify and study individuals and families that have higher than normal incidence of cancer or other diseases, to analyze patterns of genetic inheritance, and to identify specific genetic mutations.

Utah Biobank Initiative (UBI) is working to create a multi-institutional biorepository comprised of biospecimens and relevant data including demographic, medical and environmental information about the donors.

The Nano Institute, the Brain Institute and the Department of Bioengineering are housed in the University of Utah’s 208,000 square-foot multidisciplinary James L. Sorenson Molecular Technology Building, a USTAR Innovation Center, which also features a nanofabrication facility and extensive microscopy and materials characterization suite. The Nano Institute, for example, is focused on the development of nano-based diagnostics and therapeutics. It is also working to improve the performance of implants and promote functional regeneration of tissue, along with work on polymer innovations for gene therapy and enhanced delivery of therapeutics.

The Huntsman Cancer Institute is noted for its contributions in identifying the genetic mutations responsible for inherited susceptibility to a number of cancers. It is also researching experimental therapeutics and is working toward early-phase clinical trials.

The University of Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science is a collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare, University Health Care, Utah Department of Health and the Salt Lake City Veteran’s Administration to build on the university’s strengths in genetics and bioinformatics. The organization was awarded a $20.4 million grant to continue its efforts.

Brigham Young University has ongoing faculty research in molecular diagnostics, cancer-related drugs and genetics, Alzheimer’s disease risk factors and more.

The University of Utah Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute is creating new image analysis techniques to enable the visualization of complex and rich scientific data. It is also home to the Center for Integrative Biomedical Computing (CIBC), which is producing open-source software tools for biomedical image-based modeling, biomedical simulation and estimation, and the visualization of biomedical data.

The Utah Rural Scholars Program prepares students from rural Utah for admission into training programs for medical, dental and other health professions.

The Utah Telehealth Network (UTN) links patients in rural areas to healthcare providers across the state, country and the world with leading-edge telecommunications technology. UTN provides rural patients and providers with access to services that are usually available only in more populated urban areas.

BioInnovations Gateway “BiG” is a life science incubator located in the Granite Technical Institute. It currently houses 14 life science start-up companies, primarily in the medical device and biotech areas, that have access to a full machine shop and well equipped wet lab. High school students have experiential learning opportunities through internships.

Utah State University’s USTAR Program is supporting applied nutrition, veterinary diagnostics and infectious disease, and synthetic bio-manufacturing research and business development.

Healthcare Innovation

 

Utah’s Life Science Sector: A Legacy of Innovation

Utah plays a leading role in key biotechnology and genetics-based breakthroughs that impact medical innovation and healthcare delivery worldwide. The State of Utah is actively working to strengthen its life science industry.

Utah is highly specialized in four major subsectors of the industry:

  • Medical devices and equipment
  • Drugs and pharmaceuticals
  • Research, testing and medical labs
  • Biomedical distribution

A few of the leading Utah-based life science companies:

  • Edwards Lifesciences
  • Amedica
  • Bard Access Systems
  • BSD Medical
  • LineaGen
  • Myriad Genetics
  • Q Therapeutics
  • Varian Medical Systems
  • World Heart Corporation
  • Merit Medical Systems