1. Alternative therapy for pain: Fighting the opioid crisis
About 116 people die each day from opioid-related drug overdoses. The Cleveland Clinic predicts that alternative therapy for pain to help fight the opioid epidemic will be the top innovation of 2019.
There are a number of different pain management platforms available right now, ranging from electrical stimulation therapy to stress management and magnetics. Doctors are now looking for new approaches to treating pain, other than medication.
One of the solutions is pharmacogenomics, which is a study of how genes will affect a person’s response to drugs, according to Jennifer Hockings, a researcher in the Cleveland Clinic’s Genomic Medicine Institute. Pharmacogenomics is ensuring that the right patient gets the right drug with the right dosage. Genomics also helps determine if a patient will respond to it properly and if they won’t, helps find an alternative treatment.
The Cleveland Clinic projects that there will be increased access to genetic testing as pharmacogenomics will make its way into precision medicine to bring alternative therapies to pain management.