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Six New Medical Advances Coming in 2015

At the Cleveland Clinic’s annual Medical Innovation Summit this past October, a panel selected a list of best up-and-coming technologies and drug therapies coming to shelves in 2015. The 110 doctors and scientists put together a list of products and ideas that will potentially change the world in the coming years and announced them at the event. Here are 6 of their promising selections:

  1. Stroke Ambulance:  Time is of the essence, so starting treatment while patients with stroke symptoms are being transported to the hospital is crucial. This specialized ambulance uses telemedicine to allow in-hospital neurologists to diagnose symptoms via a broadband video link while EMTs perform exams en route.
  2. Dengue Fever Vaccine:  Mosquitoes infect 50 million to 100 million people in more than 100 countries with the painful, debilitating dengue virus each year. The world’s first vaccine for this has been developed, tested and is expected soon.
  3. Inexpensive Blood Test:  With a painless prick of the finger, labs will be able to test a drop of blood within hours at a fraction of the cost of traditional lab testing, which now requires a vial of blood and takes days for results.
  4. Leadless Heart Pacemaker:  The size of a vitamin pill, this new pacemaker uses a battery, instead of wires, and is implanted directly into the heart without invasive surgery, thereby reducing the risk of infection. “The first one I implanted took 13 minutes. A traditional pacemaker takes an hour,” says Daniel Cantillon, a heart disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. The tiny pacemakers are available commercially in Europe but are still in clinical trials here.
  5. Single-Dose Breast Cancer Radiation:  For women with early-stage breast cancer, this new technique delivers a single concentrated dose of radiation to the tumor during surgery, preserving more healthy tissue and reducing side effects.
  6. New Drug for Heart Failure:  “This is a really big deal, and it will save a lot of lives,” says Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Steve Nissen. The new drug has been granted fast track status by the FDA after showing it reduced deaths by 20 percent over ACE inhibitor, Enalapril.