Cleveland Clinic has announced what it perceives to be the top 10 medical innovations of 2018 at a presentation that capped off the 2017 Medical Innovation Summit. The list of up-and-coming technologies was selected by a panel of Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists. Four of the top 10 innovations include:

1. Hybrid Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery System

Hailed as the world’s first artificial pancreas, the hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system helps make Type 1 diabetes more manageable. FDA approved in late 2016, this new technology enables direct communication between the continuous glucose monitoring device and insulin pump to stabilize blood glucose at an unprecedented level. The technology replaces the “open loop” concept that requires patient to use information from their continuous glucose monitor to determine how much insulin to inject.

2. Neuromodulation to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea, the most common sleep disturbance, impacts 21 million Americans and can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. While continuous positive airway pressure device, or CPAP, is the gold standard treatment, it is estimated that more than 40% of sleep apnea patients refuse to wear the device.

Companies are now marketing an implant that delivers stimulation to open key airway muscles during sleep. Controlled by a remote or wearable patch, the technology acts like a pacemaker, helping to synchronize the intake of air with the action of the tongue. These neuromodulation systems have had positive results in clinical testing.

3. The Emergence of Distance Health

Extending the healthcare environment to the patient’s home has been a goal for decades. Removing geographic barriers to care can result in timelier, more efficient, and more optimal outcomes as well as significant cost savings. Due to an increase in connectivity through mobile technology and consumer demand, hospitals are getting ready for widespread adoption in 2018.

These technologies are also expanding beyond the simple two-way video platform. More patients are now equipped with attachable devices that record and report medical information to doctors to monitor their condition. Over 19 million patients are projected to use these remote monitoring devices in 2018.

4. Centralized Monitoring of Hospital Patients

Hospitals have long struggled with “alarm fatigue,” when busy caregivers become desensitized to the constant noise emanating from cardiac telemetry monitoring systems. Reports indicate that up to 44% of inpatient cardiac arrests are not detected appropriately.  Centralized monitoring has emerged as the answer, as part of a “mission control” operation in which off-site personnel use advanced equipment, including sensors and high-definition cameras to monitor blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and more.