Cleveland Clinic picks top 10 medical innovations for 2020

A panel of doctors and researchers selects the advancements with the power to transform care.

Cleveland Clinic eyes top medical innovations for the new year

A variety of innovations are expected to emerge in 2020 that will enhance healing and change healthcare, according to a distinguished panel of doctors and researchers from the Cleveland Clinic. Earlier this month, the organization announced its Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2020 at its Medical Innovation Summit. Led by Michael Roizen, MD, emeritus chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic, a panel of physicians and scientists have selected, in order of anticipated importance, the top new innovations healthcare providers can expect to see by 2020. "We anticipate that these innovations will significantly transform the medical field and improve care for patients," Roizen explains.

Dual-acting osteoporosis drug

Osteoporosis makes bones brittle, increasing the risk of fracture, often without symptoms until a bone is broken. But recent Food and Drug Administration approval of a new dual-acting drug called Romosozumab could offer better control, preventing more fractures.

Minimally invasive mitral valve surgery

The mitral valve allows blood flow from the heart's left atrium to the left ventricle. However, for some patients older than 75 years, the value may be defective, resulting in regurgitation. A new treatment option could be result from the expanded approval of a minimally invasive valve repair device for patients whose symptoms don’t improve.

Inaugural treatment of transthyretin amyloid

Cleveland Clinic physicians view transthyretin amyloid (ATTR-CM) as a disheartening progressive, underdiagnosed and potentially fatal cardiovascular disease. Amyloid protein fibrils deposit in and stiffen the walls of the heart's left ventricle. But there is a new agent to prevent misfolding of the deposited protein that shows significantly reduced risk of death. Three fast-track FDA approvals in three years now have led to the first-ever medication for this condition.

Therapy for peanut allergies

For some parents, the possibility that a child may be unable to breathe because of an allergic reaction is terrifying. While use of emergency epinephrine reduces the severity of the risk of accidental exposure, the anxiety remains. Now, a new oral immunotherapy medication that gradually builds tolerance to peanut exposure can offer additional protection.

Closed-loop spinal cord stimulation

This treatment uses an implantable device that sends electrical stimulus to the spinal cord for relief of chronic pain. Unfortunately, unsatisfactory outcomes from sub-therapeutic or over-stimulation events are common. Closed-loop stimulation can enable improved communication between the device and the spinal cord, giving optimum stimulation and pain relief.

Biologics in orthopedic repair

When patients have orthopedic surgery, their bodies can take a considerable amount of time to recover, and that can sometimes last for years. Use of biologics that include cells, blood components, growth factors and additional natural substances can harness the body's own power and promote healing, and these substances are finding their way into orthopedic care to expedite improved outcomes.

Antibiotic envelope for cardiac implantable infection prevention

Each year, about 1.5 million patients get an implantable cardiac electronic device. Yet, infection remains a real danger. Available now are antibiotic envelopes to encase the cardiac devices and prevent infection.

Treatment to lower cholesterol in statin-intolerant patients

While high cholesterol is typically managed by statins, some patients experience unacceptable muscle pain resulting from taking statins. The use of bempedoic acid can provide an alternative approach to lowering LDL-cholesterol and avoid side effects.

PARP inhibitors for maintenance therapy in ovarian cancer

Poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors block repair of damaged DNA in tumor cells, which increases cell death, especially in tumors with deficient repair mechanisms. One of the most important advances in ovarian cancer, PARP inhibitors have improved progression-free survival and are now being approved for first-line maintenance therapy in advanced stage disease.

Drugs for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

This condition results in the ventricular heart muscles contract normally, but do not relax as they should. With preserved ejection fraction, the heart does not properly fill with blood, leaving less blood being pumped out into the body. Current recommendations merely cover symptom relief. Now, SGLT2 inhibitors—a class of medications used in treatment of type 2 diabetes—are being explored, which could bring a new treatment option for preserved ejection fraction.

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