This year’s Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit highlighted many remarkable concepts and technologies on the horizon. An honorable mention goes to Sherwin Williams’ President and COO, CEO Elect, John Morikis who introduced Paint Shield. The EPA registered microbicidal paint is the first of its kind and an important new tool to help combat the spread of bacteria in hospitals and beyond. It continuously kills five of the most difficult to treat infection-causing bacteria after two hours of exposure on painted surfaces. When applied to walls, Paint Shield kills 99.9% of Staph, MRSA. E.coli, VRE, Enterobacter Aerogenes, and others.
The Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2016 are as follows:
1. Vaccines to prevent public health epidemics
Better to have a vaccine without an epidemic than an epidemic without a vaccine. The need comes after the recent global outbreak of Ebola. Government and healthcare organizations were widely criticized for being slow to respond and control the spread of the disease. Having vaccines readily available help prevent diseases from spreading.
2. Genomic-directed clinical trial
Many cancer patients die while waiting to enter clinical trials. Genetic profiling gets patients to clinical trials faster and provides the best chance of survival. These advances are flexible and targeted to allow doctors to better treat a patient’s disease.
3. Gene editing using CRISPR
This technology provides a way to completely eliminate genetic diseases or receptor genes, such as the gene that is susceptible to HIV/AIDS. Scientists are more quickly able to conduct critical research, and develop and test cures for multiple diseases. The cost is about $30 and can possibly help treat models of muscular dystrophy by repairing disruptive genes. Treating embryos is not advocated with this technology.
4. Water purification systems for prevention of infectious diseases
Over a million children die each year from contaminated water. A new sewage processor was developed to turn sewage into drinkable water. One processor can generate water for about 1,000 people and is produced by steam engine by processing 14 tons of sewage per day. The processor is being tested in Senegal but Bill Gates has tried it and believes it’s the way to go.
5. Cell-free fetal DNA testing
This non-invasive testing method more accurately predicts conditions such as Down’s and Edward’s syndrome, and reduces false positives from 5 to 10%, to below .5%. The testing is currently done only on high-risk pregnancies but as competition drives the cost down, it may be available to all pregnant patients.
6. Cancer screening via protein marker analysis
A lack of diagnostic accuracy with prostate-specific antigen testing makes detecting prostate cancer difficult. But early trials of the new protein marker analysis indicate process accuracy and also diagnose a broad spectrum of cancers by detecting different types of proteins in the blood. Additionally, the testing allows for early detection.
7. Naturally controlled artificial limbs
Brain-implanted sensors make what was once a thought a reality. Brain powered prosthetics require individuals to enhance brain signals and regain sensation to move artificial limbs. Some sensors are inserted into the brain while other implants rely solely on muscular signals.
8. First-ever treatment for HSDD
This treatment focuses on helping pre-menopausal women regain sexual desire. The treatment focuses on brain function by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels, and decreasing serotonin levels. Not to be considered the pink Viagara–it is not an aphrodisiac.
9. Frictionless remote monitoring
This wearable monitoring device monitors every change in the body without a needle poke. Frictionless remote monitoring will alert doctors and patients of dangerous situations as vitals change. An increase in doctors conducting virtual visits and telemedicine with their patients is also on the horizon.
10. Neurovascular stent retriever
tPA is the normal treatment for stroke care but is mostly ineffective. The neurovascular stent retriever is a small, wire-caged device that moves through the blood stream to safely remove clots. The device allows for a speedy recovery and has already been a game changer.
-Nic Abraham, Managing Editor