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There are a lot of innovations in medicine around the world that have many beneficial effects for humanity. States like Japan, Germany, Italy are known for such great medical innovations. But, United States remains the world leader, having produced more than a half of the world’s new medicines over the last decade. So, our purpose in this essay is to describe some of those amazing innovations in the USA. A valve job with heart, electronic aspirin, needle-free diabetes care and artificial retinas will be described.
the Sapien transcatheter aortic valve is a life-saving alternative to open-heart surgery for patients who need new a new valve but can’t endure the rigors of the operation. It has been available in Europe for some time but is only now finding its first use in U.S. heart centers—where it is limited only to the frailest patients thus far. The Sapien valve is guided through the femoral artery by catheter from a small incision near the grown or rib cage. The valve material is made of bovine tissue attached to a stainless-steel stent, which is expanded by inflating a small balloon when correctly placed in the valve space. A simpler procedure that promises dramatically shorter hospitalizations is bound to have a positive effect on the cost of care.
For people who suffer from migraines, cluster headaches, and other causes of chronic, excruciating head or facial pain, the “take two aspirins and call me in the morning” method is useless. Doctors have long associated the most severe, chronic forms of a 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 permanent implant of a small nerve stimulating device in the upper gum on the side of the head normally affected by a headache. The lead tip of the implant connects with the SPG bundle, and when a patient senses the onset of a headache, he or she places a handheld remote controller on the cheek nearest the implant. The resulting signals stimulate the SPG nerves and block the pain-causing neurotransmitters.
Diabetes self-care is a pain—literally. It brings the constant need to draw blood for glucose testing, the need for daily insulin shots and the heightened risk of infection from all that poking. Continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps are today’s best options for automating most of the complicated daily process of blood sugar management – but they don’t completely remove the need for skin pricks 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. The company is working on a transdermal biosensor that reads blood analytes through the skin without drawing blood. The technology involves a handheld electric-toothbrush-like device that removes just enough top-layer skin cells to put the patient’s blood chemistry within signal range of a patch-bornebiosensor. The sensor collects one reading per minute and sends the data wirelessly to a remote monitor, triggering audible alarms when levels go out of the patient’s optimal range and tracking glucose levels over time.
The TheUnited States typically defines someone as legally blind when the person central vision has degraded to 20/200, or the person has lost peripheral vision so that he sees less than 20 degrees outside of central vision. Normal vision is 20/20, and people can usually see up to 90 degrees with their peripheral vision. An estimated 1.1 million people in the United States are considered legally blind. This has led to companies like Nano-Retina to develop a sophisticated and elegant solution intended to restore the sight of people who lost their vision due to retinal degenerative diseases. The miniature Nano Retina device, theNR600 Implant, replaces the functionality of the damaged photoreceptor cells and creates the electrical stimulation required to activate the remaining healthy retinal cells. NR600 consists of two components; a miniature implantable chip and a set of eyeglasses worn by the patient. Very interesting technology for those that are always sitting in front of the computer like myself, hopefully, it will not be needed by me, but it’s great that companies are advancing for those that suffer this debilitating illness.
To sum up, I will mention a quote said by Ike Skelton: “Modern medical innovations have helped millions of people live longer, healthier lives. We owe these improvements to decades of investment in medical research”.
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