Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit

2008 Medical Innovation Summit
Cleveland Clinic

The 6th Annual Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit was held November 10-12, 2008. As with previous Summits, this event "provided an unrivaled perspective on the newest medical technologies and the financial drivers behind those innovations."

The 2008 topic was Urology and Gynecology and gave the Clinic a chance to show off one of the lesser known but leading (Top 2 or 3 in US) departments at the Cleveland Clinic. The Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute just moved into Glickman Tower, the largest and most advanced facility of its kinds in the world.

As opposed to the 2007 topic - the Heart - or the planned 2009 topic - Cancer - the 2008 topic isn't discussed in polite company as much. Hearing the discussions and viewing the live surgeries reaffirmed my long ago college choice that the initials MD would not follow my name.

I did almost get more than I bargained for as I hurried into lunch on Day 3 of the Summit. Four-term Wisconsin Governor and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson was the speaker so I looked for a table close to the middle front.

I found several empty seats at a primo table and plopped my conference bag down. I was all set to drown my salad in dressing when I noticed the table topic sign.

I had planted myself at the Female Sexual Dysfunction table. Yikes! I quickly found an unmarked table. The location was far from the speaker but I felt much better about conversing with my tablemates.

Dr. Holly Thacker Cleveland Clinic panel

Female Sexual Dysfunction panel led by (far left) Holly Thacker, MD, Director, Center for Specialized Women’s Health, OB/GYN and Woman's Health

The reason I attended the Summit is because health care is the growth industry in the US. We have an aging population that is eager to live longer and stay healthier and more active. As Chris Coburn, Executive Director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations and driving force behind the Summit explained, "We are all patients or future patients."

The Summit included live surgeries, new and innovative techniques and devices and a sharing of medical information.

Medical device demo

But it also had a large focus on investing, venture capital and the economics of health care.

There was a significant number of international participants and attendees.

Dr. Manar AL-Moneef and Dr Tom Kelly

Dr Tom Kelly (center) ,Director of the Lifesciences Division in Enterprise Ireland and Dr. Manar AL-Moneef the General Director of Health Care & Life sciences at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority

An annual highlight of the event is the Top Ten Medical Innovations for 2009. Moderator Michael Roizen MD, Chief Wellness Officer of the Cleveland Clinic, did a good job leading the ten presenters to explanations geared toward the rest of us.

Dr Michael Roizen and Top ten Panel - Cleveland Clinic

Dr Michael Roizen (far left) and Top Ten Panel

Two stood out for me. One is the Warm Organ Perfusion Device, which was ranked at #2. For the last 30 years or so, when a human heart became available for transplant, the excised heart was placed in a plastic bag and packed in a store-bought picnic cooler filled with pounds of ice.

Immediately the heart begins to slowly decay, even when packed in ice, and has to be transplanted within 240 minutes - 4 short hours - for best results.

The new device promises to recreate conditions within the body to keep the heart pumping for up to 12 hours. On any given day, about 4,000 people are waiting for a heart transplant in the US so the increase from 4 to 12 hours will dramatically increase the chances to get the heart (or other organ) to the person in need for successful transplant.

See more and watch a video about this innovation

The other Top Ten standout for me was #10, Private Sector National Health Information Exchange. It's easy to see the value in having our complete medical history and records available instantly, via the Internet, to physicians and others that we choose. But like other IT systems, there are questions of system interoperability and security.

That's where being a major player like the Clinic has advantages. Just as when Wal-Mart adopted an RFID system, its vendors and suppliers had to follow suit in order to do business with them. Coburn says, "Other entities that want to work with us are going to have to have the requisite interoperabilities."

See more and watch a video about this innovation

What about security and privacy issues with storing, accessing and sharing medical records and other patient info? Coburn says, "You cannot overstate the impact of HIPAA. The attention to security and the commitment to assuring that even an inadvertent disclosure of information is unstinting…This question of patient privacy is right at the top of the priority list, virtually equivalent with patient care." This commitment was confirmed when I spoke with Clinic CIO Dr. Martin Harris.

Cleveland Clinic CIO Martin Harris

Cleveland Clinic CIO Martin Harris led an IT panel that included:
John Kelly, PhD, Senior VP and Director of Research, IBM,
Dana Mead, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers,
Peter Neupert, Corporate VP Health Solutions Group, Microsoft,
Steve Oesterle, MD, Senior VP for Medicine and Technology, Medtronic
and Alfred Spector, VP of Research and Special Initiatives, Google.

The panel discussed IT advances including a Personal Area Network and an Intimate Area Network.

Personal Area network and Intimate Area Network

There were plenty of internationally-known and respected speakers. Company CEOs included Jim Tobin of Boston Scientific, Frederic H. Moll, MD, of Hansen Medical and John Dineen the President and CEO of GE Healthcare.

Jim Tobin of Boston Scientific

Jim Tobin of Boston Scientific

Politicians included Oregon Seantor Ron Wyden and Tommy G. Thompson, the former Health and Human Services Secretary and four-term Governor of Wisconsin.

Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson

Future of Innovation Panel

John Dineen and Nicolaus Henke

John Dineen President and CEO of GE Healthcare and Nicolaus Henke, McKinsey's head of the Payor & Provider Healthcare Practice in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

Mike Huckman, CNBC Pharmaceuticals Reporter

Mike Huckman, CNBC Pharmaceuticals Reporter, wasn't making an obscene gesture. He was showing an injured finger

Congratulations to Trinity High School on their award

Cleveland Clinic Trinity High School award

Cleveland Clinic Trinity High School award

I was glad to see the Summit use technology from a local (Youngstown) company Turning Technology. The wireless Turningpoint devices were used to collect participant feedback and present results within seconds.

TurningPoint Technology

When prompted by the speaker or displays throughout the Summit, participants entered their vote on the devices.

Turning Point Technology sign

TurningPoint staff at Cleveland Clinic medical innocation Summit 2008

TurningPoint representatives

See more photos and listen to Chris Coburn talk about the Summit, Innovation and the Cleveland economy

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