The Cleveland Clinic this week released its ninth annual list of the top 10 medical innovations for the coming year. Included in the list this year are several device-related technologies: mobile stroke units; leadless cardiac pacemakers; fast, painless blood testing; and single-dose intraoperative radiation therapy for breast cancer.

The list of up-and-coming technologies and drug therapies for 2015 was selected by a panel of 110 Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists and announced during Cleveland Clinic’s 2014 Medical Innovation Summit. In a press release, the Clinic provided links to YouTube videos and brief descriptions of each technology.

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Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2015

  1. Mobile Stroke Unit
  2. Dengue Fever Vaccine
  3. Cost-effective, Fast, Painless Blood Testing
  4. PCSK9 Inhibitors for Cholesterol Reduction
  5. Antibody-Drug Conjugates
  6. Checkpoint Inhibitors
  7. Leadless Cardiac Pacemaker
  8. New Drugs for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  9. Single-Dose Intraoperative Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
  10. New Drug for Heart Failure


Leading the Cleveland Clinic list was the mobile stroke unit: “High-tech ambulances bring the emergency department straight to the patient with stroke symptoms.  Using telemedicine, in-hospital stroke neurologists interpret symptoms via broadband video link, while an onboard paramedic, critical care nurse, and CT technologist perform neurological evaluation and administer t-PA after stroke detection, providing faster, effective treatment for the affected patient.”

Third in the list was cost-effective, fast, painless blood testing: “The new art of blood collection uses a drop of blood drawn from the fingertip in a virtually painless procedure. Test results are available within hours of the original draw and are estimated to cost as little as 10% of the traditional Medicare reimbursement.”

Seventh in the list was the leadless cardiac pacemaker: “Vitamin-sized wireless cardiac pacemakers can be implanted directly in the heart without surgery and eliminate malfunction complications and restriction on daily physical activities.

Single-dose intraoperative radiation therapy for breast cancer was ninth in the list: “Intraoperative radiation therapy, or IORT, focuses the radiation on the tumor during surgery as a single dose, and has proven effective as whole breast radiation.”

More information on the annual Top 10 Medical Innovations list, including descriptions, videos, and year-by-year comparisons is available in a downloadable smartphone app, available on iTunes and Google Play.