graphic representing digital health innovation (692 x 692)

Innovation is everywhere in health care right now –  new low cost or free electronic health records are popping up daily, new delivery system models, such as Accountable Care Organizations are attracting the attention of almost everyone, and new and exciting diagnostic and therapeutic breakthroughs are offering better options to consumers (aka patients).

The Cleveland Clinic, one of the premier health care organizations in the country, sponsors an annual Innovation Summit.  The Clinic’s doctors nominate innovations that they think will change the face of medicine.  All nominees have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration or have to have a good chance of approval by early 2011. The nominated innovations have been narrowed to a Top Ten list.


The Top Ten

Here the top ten from the Cleveland Plain Dealer 11/3/2010

1. Molecular imaging biomarker for early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease: A new brain imaging compound called AV-45 will soon make it possible to detect the very earliest stages of the brain damage caused by Alzheimers, and is expected to become the dominant way to diagnose the disease.

2. Targeted T-cell antibody for metastatic melanoma: A new anti-cancer drug, ipilimumab, allows the body s own immune system to more effectively fight cancer. It was given priority review by the FDA after it improved the survival rates of patients with previously treated advanced melanoma.

3. First cancer vaccine approved by the FDA: Provenge (Sipuleucel-T), the first cancer vaccine to show a survival benefit, is a prostate cancer treatment that works by stimulating the immune system. Its April approval means it will likely be available for use earlier in the treatment process.

4. Jupiter Study: Statins for healthy individuals: Through a large international study, researchers have found that cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins drastically cut the risk of heart disease and death for people with normal levels of cholesterol but elevated levels of inflammation.

5. Hepatitis C protease inhibiting drugs: Two drugs awaiting approval, boceprevir and telaprevir, were developed specifically to target the hepatitis C virus and have shown a vast improvement over the cure rates of existing treatments.

6. Telehealth monitoring for individuals with heart failure: An implantable, miniature, permanent monitor that can measure and communicate daily pulmonary artery pressure, as well as in-home devices that record and send real-time weight, blood pressure and heart rate data are allowing for closer monitoring of costly medical conditions, potentially reducing hospitalization.

7. Endoscopic weight-loss procedure: Transoral Gastroplasty (TOGA). An incision-less option for bariatric surgery, TOGA uses two flexible endoscopes to pass instruments through the mouth, reducing the size of the stomach to a small pouch.

8. Exhaled nitric oxide (NO) breath analysis for diagnosing asthma: A hand-held diagnostic testing device that allows precision and accuracy in diagnosing and managing asthma, the device measures levels of exhaled nitric oxide, a gas produced by cells in the lungs during inflammation.

9. Oral disease modifying treatment for multiple sclerosis: Fingolimod, approved this year by the FDA, is the first oral treatment available to MS patients, a major breakthrough in treatment that reduced attacks and brain lesions in clinical trials.

10. Capsule endoscopy for diagnosis of pediatric GI disorders: A safe and painless alternative to endoscopic imaging and X-rays, the pill-sized capsule takes hundreds of pictures and short video clips of the inside of the digestive tract and transmits them to a data recorder during transit.

Go to for more information on the summit and the Clinic’s top 10.


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