Decision support tool, med devices among Cleveland Clinic's top 'medical innovations'

The Cleveland Clinic named its top 10 medical innovations of 2014 at the hospital's annual Innovation summit yesterday, held at the newly opened Global Center for Health Innovation, and health information technology has a solid presence on the list. 

The list reflects some new and unapproved medical treatments, as well as some devices that have been in development for a while and are just now ready to enter the patient care space, Thomas Graham, M.D., chief innovation officer at Cleveland Clinic, told the Plain-Dealer.

Tech innovations on the list include a retinal prosthesis system and a responsive neurosimulator for intractable epilepsy. The former can detect light in eyes of people who have gone blind and, as described in the article, can help a doctor to "surgically implant an array of electrodes in a patient's eye." Following the procedure, a "combination of video camera-enabled glasses and a processing unit that is worn at the waist, a patient can learn to see and distinguish light and dark again," the article says.

The latter technology is a device put under the skin that analyzes electrical patterns in the brain. The Plain-Dealer points out that this is similar to last year's No. 2 innovation--therapy that treats headaches with electrical stimulation though a device implanted in a patient's gum.

In another example of how clinicians have often thought the medical industry should be more like the airline industry, Talis Clinical's perioperative decision support system--the brainchild of anesthesiologist David Brown, M.D. of Cleveland Clinic--is No. 5 on the list. The crux of his idea: "Why not have a system in the operating room sending out alerts and offering advice about performance measures the same way he was receiving information from his airplane computers and air traffic controllers?" The device uses evidence-based data on patient outcomes to set off alarms when there are potential problems during surgery.

The list is a bit more technology heavy than its 2013 counterpart.

Cleveland Clinic earlier this year was named one of the "most admired" institutions for IT use by Gartner.

To  learn more:
- read the Plain-Dealer article

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