At the conclusion of the Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovations Summit each year, 10 innovative technologies are unveiled before the audience, and designated as new and revolutionary tools for the treatment of disease and disability. Selections for the Top 10 are chosen by way of a process that includes personal interviews with over 100 senior Cleveland Clinic physicians. Here are a few of the technologies that made the cut for 2014.
RELAXIN FOR ACUTE HEART FAILRE
TOP 10 RANKING: #7WHAT IT'S FOR: DRAMATICALLY IMPROVING HEALTH OUTCOMES IN HEART FAILURE PATIENTS
Why it's needed: Heart failure is the number one cause of hospital admission. One in five patients with heart failure are readmitted to the hostpital within 30 days, and 10 percent die during the same period.
How it works: In women, relaxin-2, a naturally-occuring hormone, helps loosen tissues in the reproductive organs and pelvic ligaments to help prepare for childbirth. In heart failure, Novartis's serelaxin, a synthetic version of relaxin-2, functions as a vasodilator with anti-inflammatory properties capable of increasing blood flow in the body, which helps a poorly functioning heart work more effectively. It also prevents organ damage related to reduced blood flow in the kidneys and liver, and helps resolve fluid buildup in the lungs. Phase III data from the serelaxin trial reported a reduction in death rates by 37 percent, six months after therapy. If approved, serelaxin will become the first meaningful treatment for heart failure in two decades.
RESPONSIVE NEUROSTIMULATOR FOR INTRACTABLE EPILEPSY
TOP 10 RANKING: #3
WHAT IT'S FOR: SIGNIFICANT FREQUENCY REDUCTION OF EPILEPTIC SEIZURES
Why it's needed: Roughly one million Americans have epileptic seizures that won't respond to therapy or medication.
FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTATION
TOP 10 RANKING: #6
WHAT IT'S FOR: SAFE AND EFFECTIVE TREATMENT OF DANGEROUS C.DIFF INFECTIONS
Why it's needed: Half a million cases of C.diff are reported in the United States annually, along with 15,000 deaths.
How it works: The human gut contains more bacterial DNA than human DNA, and the stool is biologically active. In fecal microbiota transplantation, C.diff patients that don't respond to antibiotic therapy, a colonoscopy or enema is used to transfer a liquid suspension made from a healthy person's fecal matter into a sick person's colon, in order to restore bacterial balance and cure C.diff. Results of the procedure have been extraordinary, with some patients being cured of their symptoms within 24 hours, with no recurrences. The procedure may also be effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease and other nongastrointestinal conditions, like Parkinson's.
TOP 10 RANKING: #1
WHAT IT'S FOR: RESTORATION OF SIGHT
Why it's needed: More than 100,000 people in the United States have retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that leads to blindness. Until recently, there has been no effective treatment.