The Cleveland Clinic is regarded as the fourth best hospital in the country and has ranked as the number one cardiac hospital for the past two decades. Known for its technological efficiency and culture of innovation, Cleveland Clinic’s top technologies for 2014 are expected to have major impacts on healthcare.
One of the top ten innovations concerns chemotherapy, a treatment that kills rapidly dividing cells arbitrarily, damaging normal cells along the way and creating a host of toxic side effects. The development of a new therapy, B-Cell Receptor Pathway Inhibitors, controls the growth of infection-fighting B-cells when they become cancerous. B-Cell Receptor Pathway Inhibitors are effective in treating B-cell lymphomas and leukemias with very few side effects.
One of the medical devices making Cleveland Clinic’s list in 2014 has the poetic name Sedation Station for the less-than-lyrical procedure known as colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are the most expensive screening test given to healthy Americans, and 10 percent of the $10 billion annual cost goes to anesthesiologists. A new computer-assisted personalized sedation station, given premarket approval by the FDA, delivers the sedative propofol via IV infusion. This first-of-a-kind device allows healthcare professionals to administer propofol during a procedure without an anesthesiologist nearby.
The number one innovation on Cleveland Clinic’s list is the retinal prosthesis. This new medtech device is expected to treat the more than 100,000 Americans—and more than 1.5 million people worldwide—who suffer from retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic disease that damages the light-sensitive rods and cones in the retina. These specialized cells transform particles of light into the electrochemical impulses we refer to as sight. Most people suffering from RP are legally blind by their 40th birthday.
The high-tech retinal prosthesis is the first treatment ever developed for RP. An artificial retina with 60 electrodes is transplanted into the eye, where it receives wireless signals from a pair of external video cameras mounted on a pair of glasses. The “bionic eyes” are controlled and powered by a device worn at the waist. The retinal prosthesis is designed to allow people to reclaim normalcy in their lives and lets them perform daily activities most take for granted, including walking down a sidewalk and reading.