Cleveland Clinic releases list of top medical innovations for 2015

January is only a few months away but Cleveland Clinic is already looking to the New Year with today's release of its list of top medical innovations for 2015.

Among the technologies and developments Cleveland Clinic sees taking off are a mobile stroke ambulance, painless blood testing and an intra-operative radiation approach for breast cancer, according to an announcement from the clinic.

A panel of physicians and scientists at Cleveland Clinic compile the list each year.  

Here are some of the innovations Cleveland Clinic believes will make a difference in the next year:

  • Mobile stroke unit: Telemedicine will be the key to bring the emergency department to the patient, according to Cleveland Clinic. Using the tool, in-hospital stroke neurologists can interpret symptoms through video while an onboard paramedic performs the necessary treatments. Past studies have shown telestroke units help increase the number of rural patients treated and deliver treatment faster.
  • Leadless cardiac pacemaker: Lead can break and crack, causing infection sites, so the clinic anticipates the creation of "vitamin-sized wireless cardiac pacemakers" that clinicians can implant directly in the heart and eliminate malfunction complications. Wireless energy transfer has recently shown promise for increased use of tiny body-implanted electrical health devices.
  • Intra-operative radiation therapy: This radiation therapy for breast cancer focuses the radiation as a single-dose, and has proven effective as whole breast radiation, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Antibody-drug conjugates: Cleveland Clinic foresees a promising new approach to deliver cytotoxic agents to tumor cells without also harming healthy cells. Currently, chemotherapy destroys cancer cells and harms healthy cells at the same time. 
  • New heart failure drug: The Food and Drug Admninistration granted "fast-track status" to angiotensin-receptor neprilysin inhibitor, or ARNI, because of its impressive survival advantage, according to the announcement. The drug compound is a shift in heart failure therapy.

Some of the innovations Cleveland Clinic included in its list for 2014 were a retinal prosthesis system and a responsive neurosimulator for intractable epilepsy. 

To learn more:
- read the announcement