Meaningful health-tech advancements – November 1, 2019
To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
HIGH FLYING HEALTH-TECH
And now for today's top ten medical innovations list
Cleveland Clinic Innovations (CCI), the commercialization arm of Cleveland Clinic, unveiled its Top Ten Medical Innovations of 2020 list, highlighting exciting advancements in patient care for a range of serious health conditions. A panel of top doctors and scientists from the revered medical center presented their latest list at CCI's 17th annual Medical Innovation Summit in – where else – Cleveland, OH.
Spearheaded by Michael Roizen, MD, emeritus chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic, the panel identified the 10 most promising innovations likely to make a real impact in 2020, including new treatments, therapies, and procedures for conditions like osteoporosis, peanut allergies, ovarian cancer, heart failure, and chronic back pain.
Speaking at the summit, Roizen noted, “Healthcare is ever changing, and we anticipate that these innovations will significantly transform the medical field and improve care for patients at Cleveland Clinic and throughout the world."
For more detail about each of the top 20 Medical Innovations for 2020, read this release from the Cleveland Clinic.
U of Minnesota revolutionizing bone marrow transplants
For more than 50 years, the University of Minnesota Medical School has been the world's north star for combating bone marrow-related diseases, performing over 8,000 transplants to date since its first successful procedure in 1968. One particularly devastating illness, Fanconi anemia (FA), wreaks havoc on young people's immune systems, causing rapid bone marrow failure followed by acute myeloid leukemia. Historically, the median survival rate for people with FA has been 17 years.
Over the past 20+ years, U of M Medical School doctors John Wagner and Margaret MacMillan have made remarkable advances in immunotherapy and marrow transplant technology, seeing a meteoric rise in success rates for children diagnosed with FA. According to Dr. Wagner, “[T]he first big breakthrough came in 1999. All of a sudden, the patients were getting through the transplant in a way that had never been seen before. Between 2000 and 2015, we saw a whole transformation moving survival rates from 16% to 90%.”
Nothing drives a point home like seeing it with your own eyes, though. To restore your faith in humanity, and to witness the transformative good taking place at U of M Medical School right now, watch FA survivor Kyle Tanner meet his bone marrow donor Manuel Suilmann for the first time at a recent U of M football game. Go Gophers!
MORE HEALTHY INNOVATION
$8 million investment in diet-friendly food
OK, we talk about a lot of incredible innovations here at Flyover Future, from medical breakthroughs to AI to space tech, but you’re going to want to give high fives all around when you hear this one. Imagine a world of guilt-free French fries and no-consequence ice cream cones. That’s the vision of an Indianapolis-based company called Epogee.
Epogee has just landed an $8.3 million investment from HG Ventures to develop and market a fat replacement that claims to bring to the foods we love all the flavor but only 40% of the calories. The FDA-approved product works with chocolates, baked goods, and fried foods.
Unlike Olestra, a 90s-era fat substitute that had unpleasant side effects, the Epogee product tweaks a fat molecule in vegetable oil to work its magic, which researchers say has no ill side effects and tastes great. The long term goal is to make a meaningful impact on global nutrition and obesity. And make a lot of people very happy.
Minnesota moms turning to electric cargo bikes
Top 10 cargo eBikes - Source: Blue Monkey Bicycles via YouTube
An increasing number of people, including a lot of Minnesota moms, are kicking the car habit by switching to electric cargo bikes. These are not your father’s bicycle. Cargo bikes, which are available with electric motors, are designed to carry a couple of kids with room left over for groceries and other cargo. And when your legs get tired (or if you just don’t want to get sweaty), you can switch to electric power.
Many women are switching to cargo e-bikes as a way to reduce their carbon footprint and fight against some of the isolation of the digital age. Plus, it’s just plain fun. Now a documentary film called Motherload tells the tale of filmmaker Liz Canning, a mom who switched to biking and fell in love with it as the antidote to our smartphone- and social-media-obsessed culture.
On-demand language translation comes to first responders in Columbus
Imagine being a police officer responding to a serious emergency and discovering that those involved don't speak English. Not the best time to be unable to communicate with each other. But in Columbus, OH, a growing population of non-English speakers is putting more and more first responders in that situation.
The Division of Police has been providing one cellphone for each patrol precinct to enable contact with an interpreter. But now, recognizing the need for more readily available interpretation assistance, the City Council has approved funding to purchase more devices. The goal is to ensure that first responders can obtain translation help when necessary.
Angela K. Plummer, executive director of Community Refugee and Immigration Services [CRIS], said, “Our city is safest and justice best served when all residents and law enforcement can effectively communicate with each other. CRIS applauds these efforts by City Council to make language access for limited English speakers a reality.”
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