Saturday, October 6, 2007

Innovation, General, Innovation, academic - Cleveland Clinic’s Top Ten Innovations

These days it seems everybody is listing medicine’s top innovations. Now it’s the Cleveland Clinic’s turn. At its fifth annual innovation summit, the Clinic announced these top ten finalists.

1. Flexible intralumenal robotics: Catheters letting surgeons insert tiny tools in places where hands don't fit, such as inside the heart or other organs. The flexible robotic system can be used for urology, cardiology, cardiac surgery, and other specialty procedures.

2. Percutaneous aortic heart valves: Aortic heart valves delivered by catheters through a groin or small incisions in the chest wall and then expanded inside the heart. X-ray screening lets doctors monitor and position the valve.

3. RNA-based therapeutics: Gene-based therapies reducing a protein carrying bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream to reduce heart disease.

4. Genome scanning and informatics to support clinical applications: Genetic testing producing personalized health risk assessments to head off future disease.

5. New drugs to prevent blood clots or bleeding: New anticoagulants, including low molecular weight heparins, to curb bleeding and thrombosis.

6. Nasal drops delivering flu vaccine to infants: Nasal drops containing live attenuated flu can be used as a vaccine instead of needles to protect from influenza in children as young as 6 months.

7. Image fusion for diagnostic and therapeutic use: Merging of different imaging technologies to better diagnose anatomic and physiologic problems and guide minimally invasive procedures.

8. Implanted devices to restore movement to the severely disabled: Neural control devices restoring movement of arms and legs to patients with spinal cord injuries, stroke, ALS, and other central nervous system injuries.

9. Engineered cartilage products for joint repair: Natural biomaterials to replace joint cartilage tissue damaged from injury or arthritis. The engineered cartilage is surgically implanted into the joint with the intent to avoid artificial joint replacement.

10. Dual energy source computed tomography imaging: Computed tomography (CT) scanners using two radiation sources and detectors, speeding medical imaging, and exposing patients to less radiation. It allos imaging of patients with high or irregular heart rates.

Please note. These innovations are all technological. Important innovations come in other forms, too. sites of practice: retail clinics and workplace clinics), types of practices (retainer and cash only), and social networking internet sites(


Dr. Bonis said...

Why all innovations seem to be technology related? Because the important point there was not to solve a problem, but to use a technology (and then try to find a problem to solve with it).

That is the main risk of a market-oriented health-care system.

Meanwhile there is a tremendous lack of evidence about classical medical technologies and interventions. And when clear evidence is there, there is a tremendous lack of application of that evidence into practice (and an great clinical practice variation between doctors and between clinics).

Maybe the big innovation is not as much as doing new things (new technologies), but just doing well the things we are doing bad since years.

Richard L. Reece, MD said...

Not all innovations are technology-related, but most are. Social innovations (i.e. health reform) and organizational innovations (i.e. new practices and new collaborative relationships), and patient educational ventures are mcuc tougher and take longer to implement. Technology innovation is a "risk" of market-driven care, but it is not as big a risk of the stagnation induced by government-run systems. You might want to get my book Innovation-Driven Care: Key Concepts in Trasnformation, which explores the issues you bring up.

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