Cleveland Clinic names top 10 medical innovations for 2016

Innovation is healthcare's biggest buzzword, but what new medical technologies will actually help shape the industry?

Cleveland Clinic has named the top 10 medical innovations it thinks will have the biggest impact in 2016.  

1. Vaccines to prevent public health epidemics. Cleveland Clinic awarded its top spot on the list to physicians, scientists and public health officials who are focusing on developing new, more effective vaccines for the prevention of public disease epidemics.

2. Genomics-based clinical trials. The Clinic noted that genomics-based clinical trials quickens the development of targeted therapies and increases the likelihood of patients benefiting from the therapies being studied.

3. Gene editing using CRISPR. CRISPR is a new genome editing technique. The technique is cost-effective compared to previous attempts and is experiencing widespread adoption.

4. Water purification systems. Unsafe drinking water contributes to a significant proportion of disease across the world. Cleveland Clinic gives a nod to water purification systems designed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

5. Cell-free fetal DNA testing. Cell-free fetal DNA testing is a novel diagnostic test that is designed to measure fetal DNA in a mother's blood at 10 weeks. The test has been shown to decrease false positives for Down's syndrome and Edwards syndrome.

6. Protein biomarker analysis cancer screening. Cancer screening conducted via protein biomarker analysis looks for certain proteins in the blood or other biological fluids that indicate the presence or absence of cancer, rather than identifying genetic mutations that indicate cancer risk.

7. Naturally controlled artificial limbs. Over the past few years, prosthetics have been developed with brain-machine interfaces, which allow a computer to decode neural signals associated with limb movement. While naturally controlled artificial limbs represent a significant advancement in prosthetic offerings, brain-machine interfaces have been cost prohibitive for the general public. But, a number of groups are working to make this technology more accessible to the public.

8. First treatment for HSDD. In the past, loss of sexual desire in premenopausal women — hypoactive sexual desire disorder — has gone unaddressed. In 2015, the FDA approved the first HSDD medication: flibanserin.

9. Frictionless remote monitoring. Wearable technology is gaining significant traction in the consumer market. The ultimate wellness monitoring platform analyzes air quality, physician activity, food choice and stress levels, according to Cleveland Clinic. The Clinic gave a nod to "frictionless" platforms, which patients can use to take control of their own wellness without help of a caregiver and without manually uploading data.

10. Neurovascular stent retrievers. For many years the only FDA-approved option for removing blood clots after an ischemic stroke was a tissue plasminogen activator, but tPA has not always been effective. Now, the stent retriever has been developed to aid tPA in removing main-stem clots safely and effectively.  

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