Strong Medicine in Greater Chattanooga

Chattanooga is home to a flourishing network of health and wellness organizations. Here, you will find hospitals using the latest technology in patient care as well as new companies and dynamic startups leading the way in modern medical services and attracting new faces to the area.

Thriving Health Center

The city’s thriving health care community attracted Nick Moran, founder and CEO of Axis Research & Technologies, a state-of-the-art bioskills training and cadaver lab facility, to open his fourth location here.

“Chattanooga is a centralized hub for the hospital sector and is recognized as a thriving center for health care innovation, clinical research and medical device manufacturing,” Moran says.

The company’s largest facility in the U.S., the expansive lab is in an 11,300-square-foot, completely renovated, two-story site. Under one roof are two fully modernized labs, each offering multiple stations, skilled staffing support, surgical equipment and instrumentation.

A pair of configurable multipurpose rooms are perfect for seminars and lectures. Their conference room lends itself to a more intimate, Socratic-style of discussion with audiovisual capabilities. A relaxing lounge provides an inviting space to unwind between learning sessions.

Additionally, Axis houses an impressive HIPAA-compliant teletraining platform for audio visual, broadcasting, recording and live streaming, with capabilities to reach up to 500 virtual participants around the globe.

“We are committed to supporting the pioneering work being done in the area, providing a first-class, customer service-oriented facility where medical device companies can evaluate product effectiveness, while companies, hospital staff and educators can demonstrate procedures, enhance practical skills and improve potential patient outcomes,” Moran says.

Image of CHI Memorial Hospital courtesy of Livability

Hospitals Introduce Health Tech

Parkridge Medical Center started using artificial intelligence in 2022 to enhance the detection of precancerous polyps during screening colonoscopies. The computer-assisted polyp detection system is programmed with 13 million pictures to precisely recognize a potential lesion and alert the clinician that further assessment may be needed.

“Colorectal cancer screenings help physicians, like me, find colon polyps before they develop into colon cancer,” says Dr. Camille Sommer, gastroenterologist affiliate of Parkridge Medical Center. “Using artificial intelligence to enhance our ability to detect polyps as early as possible gives patients a better chance for successful treatment, optimal outcomes and fewer adverse effects.”

Nearby, in Catoosa County, Georgia, CHI Memorial is building its newest smart hospital – CHI Memorial Hospital Georgia. The 64-inpatient bed hospital, with a full-service emergency department, is set to open in mid-2024 and incorporate new and evolving technologies to improve patient experience.

Some of the planned enhancements include:

  • Real-Time Health System, which is a conceptual model and a technology framework using near-real time data from a variety of sources to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Integration of mobile tablets and display technology with cloud-based health care apps.
  • Real-time patient status on in-room displays linked to the patient’s electronic medical record.

The area also benefits from other award-winning hospitals, including Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, Tennova Healthcare in Cleveland, Tennessee, and Hamilton Health Care System in Dalton, Georgia – all known for innovative and compassionate care.

A History of Health Care

Bobby Huffaker is a fourth-generation entrepreneur in Chattanooga who says the city’s values provide the right ecosystem for his newest venture to thrive. Huffaker successfully launched his first company, American Exchange, here in Greater Chattanooga. In 2022, Huffaker and his partner, Dr. Richard Sprouse, founded a groundbreaking technology platform called Directive Health.

The platform is designed to access health data from medical record-keeping companies and consumer health sources, such as prescription histories, health care provider portals and more. Directive Health empowers patients by equipping them with tools and accurate information to make smart choices about their own health journeys. Users receive the benefit of decreased costs and accessibility right at their fingertips.

“Chattanooga has proven to be a great city for not just collaboration, but talent and innovation. As the world evolves into ‘work-from-anywhere,’ I see Chattanooga as an epicenter of startup incubation,” says Huffaker. “This being my second hyper-growth and highly successful company in the area, I know what it takes to generate results, and I look forward to continuing to grow with this city.”

Originally published through Livability, here.

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