There are a lot ofinnovations in medicine around the world that have many beneficial effects forhumanity. States like Japan, Germany, Italy are known for such as great medicalinnovations. But, United States remains the world leader, havingproduced more than an half of the world’s new medicines over the lastdecade. So, our purpose inthis essay is to describe some of those amazing innovations in USA. A valve jobwith heart, electronic aspirin, needle-free diabetes care and artificialretinas will be described.
TheSapien transcatheter aortic valve is a life-saving alternative to open-heartsurgery for patients who need new a new valve but can’t endure the rigors ofthe operation. It has been available in Europe for some time but is onlynow finding its first use in U.S. heart centers—where it is limited only to thefrailest patients thus far. The Sapien valve is guided through the femoralartery by catheter from a small incision near the grown or rib cage. The valvematerial is made of bovine tissue attached to a stainless-steel stent, which isexpanded by inflating a small balloon when correctly placed in the valve space.A simpler procedure that promises dramatically shorter hospitalizations isbound to have a positive effect on the cost of care. Forpeople who suffer from migraines, cluster headaches, and other causes ofchronic, excruciating head or facial pain, the “take two aspirins and callme in the morning” method is useless.
Doctors have long associated themost severe, chronic forms of headache with the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG),a facial nerve bundle, but haven’t yet found a treatment that works on the SPGlong-term. A technology under clinical investigation, at AutonomicTechnologies, (Redwood City, CA) is a patient-powered tool for blocking SPGsignals at the first sign of a headache. The system involves the permanentimplant of a small nerve stimulating device in the upper gum on the side of thehead normally affected by headache. The lead tip of the implant connects withthe SPG bundle, and when a patient senses the onset of a headache, he or sheplaces a handheld remote controller on the cheek nearest the implant. Theresulting signals stimulate the SPG nerves and block the pain-causingneurotransmitters. Diabetesself-care is a pain—literally.
It brings the constant need to draw blood forglucose testing, the need for daily insulin shots and the heightened risk ofinfection from all that poking. Continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumpsare today’s best options for automating most of the complicated daily processof blood sugar management – but they don’t completely remove the need for skinpricks and shots. But there’s new skin in this game. Echo Therapeutics (Philadelphia,PA) is developing technologies that would replace the poke with a patch. Thecompany is working on a transdermal biosensor that reads blood analytes throughthe skin without drawing blood. The technology involves a handheldelectric-toothbrush-like device that removes just enough top-layer skin cellsto put the patient’s blood chemistry within signal range of a patch-bornebiosensor.
The sensor collects one reading per minute and sends the datawirelessly to a remote monitor, triggering audible alarms when levels go out ofthe patient’s optimal range and tracking glucose levels over time. TheUnited States typically defines someone as legally blind when the person’scentral vision has degraded to 20/200, or the person has lost peripheral visionso that he sees less than 20 degrees outside of central vision. Normal visionis 20/20, and people can usually see up to 90 degrees with their peripheralvision. An estimated 1.
1 million people in the United States are consideredlegally blind. This has led to companies like Nano-Retina to develop a sophisticated andelegant solution intended to restore the sight of people who lost their visiondue to retinal degenerative diseases. The miniature Nano Retina device, theNR600 Implant, replaces the functionality of the damaged photoreceptor cellsand creates the electrical stimulation required to activate the remaininghealthy retinal cells. NR600 consists of two components; a miniatureimplantable chip and a set of eyeglasses worn by the patient. Very interestingtechnology for those that are always sitting in front of the computer likemyself, hopefully it will not be needed by me, but it’s great that companiesare advancing for those that suffer this debilitating illness. To sum up, I will mention a quote said by IkeSkeleton: “Modern medical innovations have helped millions of people livelonger, healthier lives.
We owe these improvements to decades of investment inmedical research”. Bibliographic list:Ø Top 5 Medical Technology Innovations ,March 2013 by MichaelMacRae, ASME.orgØ Quote by Ike Skeleton