2013 Top 5 Medical Innovations

This year’s successful medical innovations will be ones that provide significant health care efficiencies for medical professionals and hospitals/medical centers. But beyond providing healthcare benefits and positive patient outcomes, these innovations will also need to result in cost reductions.

The most promising technologies this year will enhance medical diagnosis, address chronic diseases, treat conditions minimally invasively and reduce patients’ dependence on medications.

Technologies expected to be the most successful or have the biggest impact on healthcare in 2013 (as determined by the Cleveland Clinic) are:

1.   Bariatric Surgery for Control of Diabetes
Bariatric surgery has been shown to rid patients of Type 2 diabetes, which is largely due to the disruption of the glucose system often associated with obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine published study results which showed that bariatric surgery performed better than traditional medical therapy in obese patients with Type 2 diabetes.

2.    Neuromodulation Therapy for Cluster and Migraine Headaches
A neurostimulater, implanted in the cheek, can be patient-activated to stimulate the SPG nerve bundle to alleviate headaches. The pain from headaches can be blocked in 5-10 minutes, eliminating the need for drug therapy. The neurostimulator is approved for cluster headaches and in clinical trials for migraines.

3.   Mass Spectrometry for Bacterial Identification
A new mass spectrometry technique allows microbiology labs to identify pathogens in minutes rather than days or weeks. This allows clinicians to quickly provide the appropriate antimicrobial treatment.

4.    Medications for Advanced Prostate Cancer
Five new drugs have been FDA cleared for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Currently available ADT (Androgen-receptor-targeted) drugs, which are considered “standard of care,” have provided a long remission but not a cure. The new drugs, however, may allow advanced prostate cancer to be more successfully managed in the future.

5.    Handheld Optical Scanner for Melanoma
An FDA-cleared hand-held optical scanner uses imaging technology to visualize the micro-vessels of lesions on the skin. It can detect melanoma in its earliest, most curable stage. The scanner will be used to determine if a biopsy, to rule out melanoma, is necessary.

The complete report, Top 10 Medical Innovations: 2013, provided by the Cleveland Clinic can be found:http://www.clevelandclinic.org/innovations/summit/documents/CC%20BROCHURE%20Top%2010%202013%20121025_1600%20F%20SC.pdf


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