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Top Ten Medical Innovations: Cleveland Clinic Summit Takeaway

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This year, the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit focused on Cardiovascular Technologies, State of the Heart. The summit consisted of three days of stimulating presentations and panel discussions moderated by television ancho

This year, the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit focused on Cardiovascular Technologies, State of the Heart. The summit consisted of three days of stimulating presentations and panel discussions moderated by television anchors such as Maria Bartiromo and Bob Woodruff. The summit highlighted breakthrough technologies in the cardiac space, which could transform how medicine is currently practiced.

Dr. Michael Roizen, Chief Wellness Officer for the Cleveland Clinic, moderated one of the highlights of the Summit, which was the session on the top 10 health care innovations. These innovations, most of which are not in the cardiovascular space in spite of the summit’s focus, follow:

10. Genetically modified mosquitos to reduce mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus: Manipulating the DNA of insects may help wipe-out populations that are not effectively controlled currently with insecticides and other measures.

9. A new class of drugs for the treatment of diabetes called SGLT2 (Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 proteins inhibitors): May reduce blood sugar by excreting it in the urine.  Some side benefits maybe that it will also help with weight reduction and lower blood pressure.

8. Utilizing large data sets for better outcomes: Each day we generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data and healthcare-related information contributes to much of this mass of structured and unstructured data.   Real-time analysis of the data on all levels could help drive a more efficient and economical system.

7.  Bionic Prosthesis using robotic engineering to automatically move in a variety of changeable conditions: Allowing greater mobility and function for a person who has had a lower limb amputation rather than a stationary wood/metal support.

6.  A minimally invasive implantable mesh tube device for complex brain aneurysms: Complex aneurysms are difficult to treat due to the size and location.   This device is implanted in the internal carotid artery by way of a small incision in the femoral artery of the leg and redirects blood away from the aneurysm eventually forming a clot and preventing the aneurysm from rupturing.

5.  Next-generation sequencing: A technology that has moved beyond what used to be expensive, labor and time-intensive processes to become faster, less expensive, and more efficient.  Incorporating the data generated from sequencing a person’s genome into clinical practice will become part of routine medical care.

4.  Medical applications for mobile devices – otherwise known as mHealth: These apps are expanding, becoming global phenomena, and are changing where and how physician office visits occur. Actively engaging both patients and medical providers using a variety of mobile devices can help monitor, prevent, and treat disease.

3.  Concussion management system for athletes: Measure a hit to the head at the moment of contact using a mouthguard implanted with a dosimeter. The information is reported via Bluetooth technology and can help guide when an athlete can return to the sport without sustaining further harm.

2.  Early detection of lung tumors using low-dose spiral computed tomography (spiral CT): Use of early screening CT may help reduce mortality. A majority of lung cancers if caught early are curable.

1.  Renal denervation: A process using a catheter-based probe that is introduced into the femoral artery, threaded to the renal artery, and then delivers radio-frequent energy to the sympathetic nerves. Clinical trials are demonstrating that the renal denervation procedure in patients who have resistant hypertension have a significantly greater improvement in achieving target blood pressure versus patients on oral medications.

These are exciting innovations that, from my perspective, illustrate the following themes:

  1. Large data sets need to be managed (Numbers 8 and 5)
  2. Early detection is vital in disease management (Numbers 3, 2, and 5)
  3. Patients/ consumers are playing a larger role in their own care (Numbers 4 and 3)
  4. Novel ideas for chronic disease management are at the forefront of research efforts (Numbers 9 and 1)

But, while all of these innovations have the potential to significantly benefit patients, there is a catch. Device and drug companies will need to consider regulatory and reimbursement challenges early along in the development process if they are to be successful in commercializing their products.

Do you have an exciting innovation in the works? Does it reinforce one of the themes highlighted above? What regulatory or reimbursement questions are you asking? What regulatory or reimbursement questions should you be asking? Feel free to comment below or to reach out to me directly at


This article originally appeared on the Popper and Company blog.

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