Top 10 Medical Innovations Most Likely to be Game Changers

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Cleveland Clinic announced the Top 10 Medical Innovations of 2017 at a multi-media presentation that climaxed the 2016 Medical Innovation Summit, according to a press release.

Topping the 11th annual list is the harnessing of the microbiome, the gut bacteria swarming in all of us. Recent discoveries have revealed the power of microbes to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. The healthcare industry will soon be pouring resources into addressing the potential for new therapies, diagnostics, probiotics and other products.

Another powerful innovation is cellular immunotherapy, where cells are removed and reprogrammed to fight cancer. The re-engineering illustrates one of the emerging characteristics of medical innovation, according to Dr. Michael Roizen, the chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic.

“The combinations that lead to innovation are much more unusual,” he said. “We used to develop a drug to treat a disease. Now, we’re combining devices, drugs and imagination. We’re altering patients’ T cells so that they will attack their cancer cells.”

Studies focused on leukemia have reported remission rates of 90% with immunotherapy, raising hopes that it could replace chemotherapy and its lifetime of side effects.

To identify and rank the most impactful innovations, Cleveland Clinic assembled a team of more than 100 physicians and researchers, many of them leaders in their fields. Led by Roizen, the team winnowed a list of nearly 200 nominations into a top 10 through discussion, debate and a triple elimination balloting process that sought the agreement of two different groups of experts voting independently of each other.

The panel does not identify a brand or a company behind the work, only the innovation and its chances of healing and extending life.

Here, in order of anticipated importance, are the Top 10 Medical Innovations of 2017, as noted in the press release.

  1. Using the Microbiome to Prevent, Diagnose and Treat Disease
  2. Diabetes Drugs that Reduce Cardiovascular Disease and Death
  3. Cellular Immunotherapy to Treat Leukemia and Lymphomas
  4. Liquid Biopsies to Find Circulating Tumor DNA
  5. Automated Car Safety Features and Driverless Capabilities
  6. Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources
  7. Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression
  8. 3-D Visualization and Augmented Reality for Surgery
  9. Self-administered HPV Test
  10. Bioabsorbable Stents
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