Early October, in conjunction with the 2020 Medical Innovation Summit, Cleveland Clinic announced the Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2021. The 18th annual summit, which was virtual this year, brought together influential investors, entrepreneurs, clinicians and industry professionals to share their best practices and visions for affordable, sustainable widespread care.
Innovation is a cornerstone at Cleveland Clinic. As such, experts from across the organization always have their finger on the pulse of new technologies and the latest advancements. From novel gene therapy for blood disorders to increased access to telemedicine, these Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2021 are poised to have a great impact in the coming year.
Gene Therapy for Hemoglobinopathies
The latest research in the hemoglobinopathy space has brought an experimental gene therapy, giving those who have the condition the potential ability to make functional hemoglobin molecules – reducing the presence of sickled blood cells or ineffective red blood cells in thalassemia to prevent associated complications.
Novel Drug for Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis
A new, FDA-approved therapeutic monoclonal antibody with a novel target is the only MS treatment for the primary-progressive population.
Smartphone-Connected Pacemaker Devices
Bluetooth-enabled pacemaker devices can remedy issues of disconnection between patients and their cardiac treatment. Used in conjunction with a mobile app, these connected devices allow patients greater insight into the health data from the pacemakers and transmit the health information to their physicians.
New Medication for Cystic Fibrosis
A new combination drug, FDA approved in October 2019, provides relief for patients with the most common CF gene mutation (F508 del) – estimated to represent 90 percent of individuals living with the disease.
Universal Hepatitis C Treatment
A new, approved fixed-dose combination medication has vastly improved hepatitis C treatment. More than 90 percent effective for hepatitis C genotypes one through six, the therapy represents an effective option for a wider scope of patients.
Bubble CPAP for Increased Lung Function in Premature Babies
Unlike mechanical ventilation, b-CPAP is a non-invasive ventilation strategy – delivering continuous positive airway pressure to newborns to maintain lung volumes during exhalation.
Increased Access to Telemedicine through Novel Practice and Policy Changes
COVID-19 saw increased adoption of telemedical practices. An increasingly virtual care model and increased consumer adoption came by way of fundamental shifts in policy at both the government and provider level.
Vacuum-Induced Uterine Tamponade Device for Postpartum Hemorrhage
The newest advancement in treating excessive bleeding after childbirth and related complications is that of vacuum-induced uterine tamponade – a method that uses negative pressure created inside the uterus to collapse the bleeding cavity causing the muscle to close off the vessels. The device is a minimally invasive tool for clinicians and provides a low-tech solution that is potentially translatable to developing countries.
PARP Inhibitors for Prostate Cancer
Known for their success in women’s cancers, two PARP inhibitors have been demonstrated to delay the progression of prostate cancer in men with refractory cancer and DNA repair pathway mutations. Both were approved for prostate cancer in May 2020.
Immunologics for Migraine Prophylaxis
In 2018, new medications were developed to help head off migraine pain. The class of drugs works by blocking the activity of a molecule called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which spikes during a migraine. Actively prescribed in 2020, this new FDA-approved class of medication is the first to be specifically designed for the preventive treatment of migraine, marking a new era of migraine therapeutics.
For more information on the annual Top 10 Medical Innovations list please visit: ClevelandClinic.org/top10innovations2021