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Johnson & Johnson Debuts Its New Center for Device Innovation at Texas Medical Center

The state-of-the-art innovation hub is equipped with such cutting-edge amenities as 3-D printers and virtual operating rooms—and is helmed by a surgeon and medical device entrepreneur who has dozens of patents to his name.
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Today marks the grand opening of a one-of-a-kind Johnson & Johnson facility that has the potential to revolutionize the medical device industry.

The new Center for Device Innovation at Texas Medical Center (CDI @ TMC) is a collaboration among Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Houston’s Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical complex.

Their shared goal: develop breakthrough medical devices designed to make surgery less invasive, as well as innovate ways to bring cutting-edge procedures to underserved populations around the globe.

CDI @ TMC is under the direction of William E. “Billy” Cohn, M.D. Circular image William E. "Billy" Cohn, M.D.,Vice President for Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies and the Director of the Center for Device Innovation at Texas Medical Center , a cardiac surgeon, medical device entrepreneur and Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies.

“For the last 20 years, most of the innovation I’ve done has been in my garage shop,” says Dr. Cohn, who has more than 90 U.S. patents granted or pending and holds 60 international patents for his own inventions, which run the gamut from a more efficient suturing device to a pulseless artificial heart designed not to wear out. “I hope the CDI can be what my garage always aspired to be—a place where a lot of bright, hardworking, passionate people can let their ideas flow.”

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CDI @ TMC's startup spirit, combined with our facility and our proximity to the Texas Medical Center, means we can innovate faster and more effectively.

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Those passionate people will have access to such amenities as 3-D printers and scanners, laser cutters and even a virtual reality room that will allow designers to "test out" their device ideas on simulated patients, in virtual operating rooms.

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The CDI @ TMC's machine shop is fully stocked with everything from 3-D printers and scanners to laser cutters to help entrepreneurs transform their ideas into reality

“It’s a beautiful space,” Dr. Cohn says of the 25,500-square-foot facility. "Every time I walk in, I get chills. I think it is the consummate innovation maker space for medical devices.”

Its location is equally special: Each year, the Texas Medical Center cares for 10 million patients and facilitates more than 180,000 surgeries—which, Dr. Cohn hopes, will help inspire the CDI @ TMC team to create the next generation of medical devices.

“The sheer number of doctors and ability to watch spine, knee or robotic surgery on any given day really dwarfs anywhere else in the country,” Dr. Cohn says. “CDI @ TMC's startup spirit, combined with our facility and our proximity to the Texas Medical Center, means we can innovate faster and more effectively. We can think of an idea and bring it all the way through to development without having to buy a single airplane ticket. Everything is right here for us.”

Catch glimpses of CDI @ TMC in action, and hear more from Dr. Cohn and other Johnson & Johnson leaders about their hopes for the future of medical devices, in this video:

Where do healthcare providers learn to use Johnson & Johnson’s cutting-edge medical devices? At the Johnson & Johnson Institute.

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