Medical innovations for 2020

The top 10 medical innovations that may make a significant difference in medical care in 2020 were recently announced at the Cleveland Clinic’s 2019 Medical Innovation Summit. The yearly meeting, now in its 17th year, was organized by the Clinic’s development and commercialization arm.

The top 10 predicted innovations are:
1.    A dual-acting drug: romosozumab, which recently received approval from the FDA, may provide bone strengthening power, giving patients with osteoporosis more control in preventing additional fractures.
2.    A minimally invasive mitral valve repair device for elderly patients who have not received symptom relief from other therapies. 
3.    FDA approval of tafamidis, a new medication for the treatment of an increasingly recognized condition: the progressive, underdiagnosed, potentially fatal disease of transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy. In this condition, amyloid protein fibrils deposit in and stiffen the walls of the heart’s left ventricle. 
4.    Therapy for peanut allergies: a new oral immunotherapy medication to gradually build tolerance to peanut exposures.
5.    Closed loop spinal cord stimulation: an implanted device produces “closed loop” stimulation for better communication between the device and the spinal cord for relief of chronic pain. 
6.    The use of biologics (cells, blood components, growth factors) in orthopedic care, promoting expedited healing and improved outcomes.
7.    Antibiotic embedded envelopes for implantable device infection prevention. 
8.    Bempedoic acid for cholesterol lowering in statin-intolerant patients. This medication may provide an alternative approach to lowering of LDL cholesterol in patients who experienced muscle pains with statins.
9.    Poly-ADP ribose polymerase inhibitors for maintenance therapy in ovarian cancer. These inhibitors are showing improved progression-free survival and maintenance therapy in advanced state of the disease.
10.    Drugs for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (diastolic heart failure). Current recommendations provide symptomatic relief to the basic problem: the ventricular muscles contract normally but do not relax as they should. The heart is unable to fill with blood thus it pumps out less blood. The prediction is that SGLT2 inhibitors, a class of medications used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, may provide a new treatment option. 

This list of emerging technologies was selected by a panel of Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists. As the saying goes, predicting is tough, especially about the future. The Cleveland Clinic does not publish the “batting average” of predictions made over the years at the Innovation Summits.

For additional information about each innovation, visit
—George Szasz, CM, MD

This post has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.

Jerutzy Aguilar says: reply

A dual-acting drug would be a great innovation.

Yasmine Bualle says: reply

The closed loop spinal cord stimulation will be an amazing innovation regarding the pain/ discomfort relief for patients.

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