By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today
Published: October 31, 2012 on MedPage Today
Bariatric surgery for diabetes treatment was selected as the most important medical innovation for 2013 in a poll of Cleveland Clinic physicians and researchers.
Participants in the survey, conducted for a conference on healthcare technology development taking place this week at the clinic, also voted femtosecond laser surgery for cataracts, mass spectrometry for diagnosing bacterial infections, and Medicare reform legislation pending in Congress into the top 10 on a list of exciting innovations.
The list was selected by Cleveland Clinic staff from 150 nominations of emerging technologies judged to have high probability of commercial success, according to a clinic press release.
An anti-diabetic effect of bariatric surgery was first noted as an unexpected side benefit of the procedure. It since has become the focus of trials with diabetic control as a prespecified outcome measure. The effect has been seen with a variety of approaches, including traditional gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and duodenal sleeves.
Philip Schauer, MD, director of the clinic's Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, said in the press release that bariatric surgery was selected as the top innovation "because it's an effective treatment for diabetes, not just for weight loss, and this will have an impact on healthcare in 2013.
The other technologies in the clinic's top 10 were:
- Neuromodulator device therapy for cluster and migraine headaches
- Mass spectrometry for clinical bacterial identification
- New drugs therapies for prostate cancer
- Handheld optical scans for melanoma
- Femtosecond laser cataract surgery
- Ex vivo lung perfusion for transplantation
- Fabric grafts for repairing complex aortic aneurysms
- Breast tomosynthesis imaging for cancer detection
- The Medicare Better Health Rewards Act
The last item on the list is legislation now before Congress that would provide financial incentives to Medicare recipients who meet goals for risk-factor reduction, such as lowering cholesterol and quitting cigarettes.