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Innovations | Nov/Dec 2014

Cleveland Clinic’s Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2015

Mobile stroke unit ranks No. 1 on the organization's annual list.

The 9th annual Top 10 Medical Innovations, a list of products expected to have an impact on patient care in the coming year, was announced by the Cleveland Clinic at its 2014 Medical Innovations Summit.1 Selected by a panel of 110 physicians and scientists practicing at the Cleveland Clinic, the two items that top the list are a mobile stroke unit and a vaccine for dengue fever.

THE LIST

No. 1: Mobile stroke unit. Faster, more effective treatment for stroke patients may be possible with a new mobile stroke ambulance system equipped with telemedicine capabilities. Via a broadband video link, in-house stroke neurologists can interpret symptoms for the onboard paramedic, critical care nurse, and CT technologist, who in turn can perform proper neurological evaluation and administer t-PA after stroke detection. (Watch the video at http://youtu.be/2e4ehwWGE_w.)

No. 2: Dengue fever vaccine. According to the Cleveland Clinic news release, between 50 and 100 million people in more than 100 countries contract dengue fever every year. The first vaccine for this virus is slated for submission to regulatory groups in 2015; commercialization is expected to follow. (http://youtu.be/WV-x4DFlL0s.)

No. 3: Painless blood testing. With a drop of blood drawn from the fingertip, blood test results can be available within hours of the original draw; the estimated price tag is about 10% of the cost of traditional US Medicare reimbursement for blood tests. (Watch the video at http://youtu.be/9MaDdR5yFIk.)

No. 4: PCSK9 inhibitors for cholesterol reduction. In 2015, the FDA is expected to approve the first PCSK9 inhibitor, a class of injectable cholesterol-lowering drugs, for its ability to significantly lower LDL cholesterol. This drug is intended for use in patients who do not benefit from statins. (Watch the video at http://youtu.be/-1ztI7Cw5rg.)

No. 5: Antibody-drug conjugates. These alternatives to chemotherapy for advanced cancer patients selectively deliver cytotoxic agents to tumor cells and avoid normal, healthy tissue. (Watch the video at http://youtu.be/3sqc6l_6pic.)

No. 6: Immune checkpoint inhibitors. Designed for use with traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatment, immune checkpoint inhibitors can boost the immune system and offer significant, long-term cancer remissions for patients with metastatic melanoma. Evidence suggests that the inhibitors can also work on other types of malignancies. (Watch the video at http://youtu.be/4UDtCsxyX7Y.)

No. 7: Leadless cardiac pacemaker. In comparison with traditional, silver–dollar-sized pacemakers, a new vitamin–pill-sized wireless cardiac pacemaker can be implanted directly into the heart, sans surgery. It can eliminate malfunction complications and reduce daily physical activity restrictions, according to the news release. (Watch the video at http://youtu.be/csUj9Sv-Q8o.)

No. 8: New drugs for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Pirfenidone and nintedanib, recently FDA-approved drugs for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), slow the disease’s progression. According to the Cleveland Clinic news release, no known treatment for IPF was available prior to these experimental drugs. The life expectancy after diagnosis of IPF is 3 to 5 years. (Watch the video at http://youtu.be/rFuXRN4U0yk.)

No. 9: Single-dose intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) for breast cancer. An alternative to a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy, IORT can be performed in lieu of whole breast radiation. This procedure focuses the radiation on the tumor and is a single-dose treatment. (Watch the video at http://youtu.be/Z91GUWiRGdU.).

No. 10: New drug for heart failure. The FDA has granted fast-track status to angiotensin-receptor neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) because of its survival advantage over enalapril, an angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor for patients with heart failure. The Cleveland Clinic reports that ARNI represents a paradigm shift in heart failure therapy. (Watch the video at http://youtu.be/9odoJLPHmlg.)

  1. Top 10 Innovations for 2015. Cleveland Clinic website. http://youtu. be/9odoJLPHmlg Accessed November 12,2014.
  2. Top 10 Innovations for 2015. Cleveland Clinic website. http://summit.clevelandclinic.org/Top-10-Innovations/ Top-10-for-2015-(5757).aspx. Accessed November 12,2014.

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