The end of each passing year offers us a chance to look at the amazing progress that has been made in the last 12 months…and what we can look forward to in the coming year. Many organizations, publications and websites even offer us lists of important medical breakthroughs from that year to remind us of the ingenuity of the healthcare community.
Here are the Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2013, as announced by Cleveland Clinic on October 31:
- Bariatric Surgery for Control of Diabetes – Many doctors performing weight-loss operations found that the surgical procedure would rid patients of Type 2 diabetes, oftentimes before the patient left the hospital.
- Neuromodulation Device for Cluster and Migraine Headaches – Whenever a patient feels a headache coming on, a remote control device is placed on the cheek and it delivers as needed stimulation to the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) nerve bundle, blocking the headache pain in about five to 10 minutes.
- Mass Spectrometry for Bacterial Identification – At a time when bacterial infections account for a large proportion of people admitted to hospitals each year, quick and accurate detection of these microorganisms help guide appropriate patient treatment and improve outcomes is more critical than ever.
- Drugs for Advanced Prostate Cancer –Many in the prostate cancer research community now believe that these drugs, and others coming from the prostate cancer therapeutic pipeline, will one day help make advanced prostate cancer a chronic disease that’s successfully managed with a routine of daily medication, lifestyle modification, and regular checkups.
- Hand-held Optical Scan for Melanoma – In a clinical trial of 1,300 patients, the largest study ever conducted in melanoma detection, the device detected 98% of the melanomas, while missing fewer than 2% of these early cancers.
- Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery – This procedure is revolutionizing surgery by making it more predictable and accurate, allowing surgeons to make smaller, more precise incisions. It also requires less energy time inside the eye, causes less inflammation, and offers more stability when implanting a new lens.
- Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion – Has the potential to significantly increase the number of available lungs as the reconditioning process is adopted, refined, and improved at multiple transplant centers. This increased availability of quality-tested donor lungs is going to make a huge difference to the 100,000 American patients with severe breathing problems who now wait on the lung transplant standby list.
- Modular Devices for Treating Complex Aneurysms – The new modular stent graft system offers a significant reduction in morbidity and ICU stay, but more importantly, it allows an application of life-saving technology to high-risk patients who never could have been treated for their aneurysms
- Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) – In a recent study of 7,500 women, the recall rate of women screened with breast tomosynthesis and traditional mammography combined was 6.6% compared to 11.1% for traditional mammography alone.
- Health Insurance / Medicare Program / Rewards for Better Health – The Better Health Rewards Program is part of a growing wellness revolution in American healthcare that is designed to give everyone achievable health goals and a detailed plan to reach them, as well as financial incentives to keep motivated and follow through with the various health strategies.