Thursday, November 19, 2015

Top 20 Health Care Innovations for 2015

Here are 20 health care innovations from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic.

10 Brigham and Women’s Hospital Health Care Innovations

1. Use of “Big Data” to reduce costs for high-cost patients

Only five percent of patients account for about half of all U.S. health care spending. Analysis of large patient data sets can help providers better understand the health care needs of this small segment of patients, identify any gaps in their care, and adjust care accordingly.

2. Financial incentivizing of healthy behavior by employers

Companies are spending more on health care than five years ago. Employers are working to help employees live healthier. Nearly half of employers offer wellness programs. Financial incentives are also being used to encourage participation in these programs.

3. Innovations for managing outpatient behavioral health

30 percent of Americans have a mental health condition but less than a quarter of them seek help. Hospitals partnering with outpatient mental health agencies create a teamwork approach to patients in crisis. The link can seamlessly transition patients in and out of the appropriate facilities when an episode occurs. The use of telepsychiatry is also on the rise, providing counseling services to remote patients.

4. Expanded use of telehealth and digital health by clinicians

The expansion of coverage for telehealth services by Medicare coupled with expanded internet access is making telemedicine a viable option for delivering patient care. The addition of imaging and monitoring services offered through digital health services also adds value to telehealth visits.

5. Health care delivery goes retail to increase patient engagement

The move of retail giants like Walmart and CVS into health care delivery is grounded in the belief that improved health outcomes can be fostered in community settings. Patient engagement is key.

6. Increasing use of “wearables” in hospitals to continuously monitor biomarkers

The use of “wearables” allows for automated, continuous physiological monitoring. Sensors can be especially valuable in alerting clinicians of safety issues and sudden medical emergencies.

7. Increased prescription of health apps

Mobile apps allow patients to take more responsibility and interest in their health. Apps that can reduce costs through remote consultation will be especially valuable.
8. Care delivery innovation for end-of-life care

The goal of end-of-life care is to reduce suffering and respect the wishes of the dying. Telemedicine and digital health could enhance the care delivery of this sensitive patient population. Understanding patient priorities can also preserve quality of life.

9. Increased use of 3-D printing

Medical researchers are exploring numerous uses for 3-D printing. 3-D printing is being used to accurately map out the techniques of face transplantation pre-operatively and to follow progress of patients post-operatively. This provides better visualization for surgeons and better satisfaction with appearances for patients.

10. Better care delivery and engagement for the newly insured and millenials

The number of Americans born in the eighties and nineties (millenials) now surpass the baby boomers (those born in the fifties and sixties). Earnings of millenials are expected to surpass their parents’ by 2018.

10 Cleveland Clinic Health Care Innovations

#1 Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit

Each year in the United States, nearly 800,000 people suffer a stroke, or a brain attack. This occurs when an artery that supplies blood to part of the brain becomes blocked or ruptures and leads to bleeding in the brain. In ischemic strokes, a blood clot is the triggering event, while the remaining 10 percent of strokes are called hemorrhagic and a burst blood vessel or aneurysm is typically the cause.

#2 Dengue Vaccine

All it takes is one bite: Dengue is a debilitating virus that’s transmitted to humans by the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten a person infected with the dengue virus.

#3 The New Art of Blood Collection and Diagnosis

With the advent of science, blood became a key diagnostic element. Withdrawn from the body, it was isolated and studied. Today, phlebotomy, the process of opening a vein and collecting blood for testing and diagnosis, is regularly used to measure cells, lipids, proteins, sugars, hormones, tumor markers and other blood components.

#4 PCSK9 Inhibitors for Cholesterol Reduction

Cholesterol, a soft, waxy substance present in cells throughout the body, serves many important functions. However, elevated levels of certain forms of cholesterol are some of the primary drivers in the development of coronary heart disease.

#5 Antibody Drug Conjugates

Scientists have learned more about cancer in the last two decades than had been learned in all the centuries preceding. And even though one million people in the United States develop cancer annually, tremendous advances have been made in cancer biology that have led to significant progress not only in cancer prevention and early detection but in cancer treatment as well.

#6 Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

The immune system’s collection of organs, special cells, and molecules is on constant alert to protect us from dangerous infection and disease and keep us healthy. It responds to antigens, or foreign bodies, in a highly coordinated process that employs several types of cells to circulate around the body, scanning for cellular abnormalities and infections.

#7 Leadless Cardiac Pacemaker

The adult heart usually beats between 60 and 100 times a minute at rest, but if a person has bradycardia, a slower than normal heart rate, it indicates a problem with the heart’s electrical system.

#8 New Medications for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

The lungs are remarkable organs made of spongy tissue that supply oxygen, the life-sustaining gas needed by the body. As the only internal organs that are exposed to the external environment, they are vulnerable to a variety of ailments. Some, like asthma, bronchitis, or even certain cancers, can be cured. However, when it comes to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, eventual death is a certainty unless the lungs are replaced.

#9 Intraoperative Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

The American Cancer Society estimates this year about 233,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will occur among women in the United States. In addition, 63,000 new cases of noninvasive breast cancer—the earliest form—will occur among women in 2014. It’s also projected that 40,000 women will die from breast cancer this year.

#10 Angiotensin-Receptor Neprilysin Inhibitor for Heart Failure

Heart failure is caused by a weakening of the heart’s ability to pump blood. Between 500,000 and 900,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed each year in the United States. This debilitating ailment is now the most common diagnosis in Medicare patients and accounts for 55,000 deaths annually.

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