The Cleveland Clinic, in addition to treating patients, also maintains a business branch devoted to medical product development. This branch, Innovations, encourages its physicians to develop better ways to treat patients and holds regular summits to match venture capitalists with prospective new businesses. Innovations also releases an annual list of products that are expected to come to market in the near future.
Here’s a list of targeted health problems and new product or service solutions that recently won awards as top medical innovations. These solutions are expected to come to market in 2010:
- Parkinson’s Disease – Research indicates that exercise such as bicycling significantly improves tremor and rigidity symptoms. Look for tandem bikes to be marketed to physical and occupational therapists who work with PD patients.
- Sleep Apnea – Growing incidence of this problem led researchers to develop a self-contained, at-home, sleep-monitoring device.
- Hearing Loss – Researchers have developed a new device that allows patients with single-sided deafness to hear via sound transmission through teeth. This is a no-surgical solution.
According to Christopher Coburn, Executive Director at Innovations, these new products have met specific criteria such as:
- A high probability of success
- Are close to being on the market
- Result in clear patient benefit or improved health care delivery
As with any new product or service, these innovations must be marketed. Advertising campaigns may consist of an educational component which describes benefits as well as general branding components.[Source: Cleveland Clinic release, October 2009]