The top 10 health care innovations to watch in 2018, according to the ECRI Institute

The ECRI Institute has released its 2018 Top 10 Hospital C-suite Watch List, which spotlights 10 health care innovations to watch for in 2018, Megan Brooks writes for Medscape.

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According to Diane Robertson, the director of health technology assessment at ECRI, this year's selections include "a range of technologies and infrastructure issues hospital leaders and their teams are facing, will be facing, or should consider."

The list includes:

1. The reSET mobile app: reSET, from Pear Therapeutics, is mobile application approved by FDA for the treatment of substance misuse, alongside outpatient therapy and a contingency management system. In a 12-week clinical trial of 299 patients, the app—which aims to help people misusing alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and stimulants, although not opioids—almost doubled the abstinence rate and increased treatment retention, when compared with traditional face-to-face therapy.

2. Direct-to-consumer (DCT) genetic testing: According to the report, DTC genetic tests in 2018 will likely boost patient demand for follow-up services if and when DTC genetic test users receive unexpected or unclear results. ECRI advised providers to establish someone in each service line to monitor new DTC genetic tests and changes to current tests, as well as to have frontline providers track the information patients bring for assessment.

3. Acuity-adaptable care delivery models: Acuity-adaptable care delivery models allow a hospital to keep a patient in the same room from admission to discharge, irrespective of their level of acuity. ECRI advises hospitals seeking to implement such rooms to visit other hospitals with established acuity-adaptable care delivery models and to designate a steering committee to oversee the training, design, and patient care involved with such rooms.

4. Confirm Rx: Confirm Rx, created by Abbot Labs, is the first of its type of implantable loop recorder cardiac monitor to interface directly with a user's smartphone. Confirm Rx automatically transmits patients' data to their physician through their smartphones, Brooks writes, without requiring patients to use a bedside telephone transmitter.

5. Distraction-based virtual reality (VR) for pediatrics: According to Brooks, many children's hospitals are collaborating with other companies to make software that creates three-dimensional VR experiences for children to engage and distract them while they undergo treatment for chronic conditions.

6. NeuroAD Therapy System: The NeuroAD Therapy System, developed by Neuronix, combats Alzheimer's disease "by combining noninvasive transcranial magnetic stimulation with computer-based cognitive training," according to ECRI's report. The system, which is the first to receive Conformité Européene's approval for clinical use in the European Union, is currently under review by FDA.

7. Microneedle blood-collection devices: The devices, including one from Seventh Sense Biosystems and another in development from Tasso, collect blood samples quickly and nearly painlessly, according to the ECRI report. Seventh Sense's device, for instance, is a golf-ball sized device that uses 30 microneedles and a small vacuum to collect blood from a patient's arm within two to three minutes.

8. Neonatal MRI system: The Embrace Neonatal MRI System, from Aspect Imaging, is an FDA-approved MRI system designed for neonatal brain and head imaging in the NICU. The point-of-care system curbs the risks associated with transporting NICU patients, while also enabling providers to more quickly provide emergency care.

9. GammaTile cesium-131 brachytherapy in neuro-oncology: GT Medical Technologies' GammaTile Radiation Therapy System uses cesium-131 Cs-131 brachytherapy seeds to deliver radiation doses to the tissue of cancer patients more quickly and more directly than other treatments, such as external-beam radiation therapy or other forms of brachytherapy. The system, currently under review by FDA, can in theory lead to improved outcomes and fewer injuries to adjacent tissue, according to ECRI's report.

10. Microhospitals: Multiple health systems are investing in microhospitals to spread care across a given care system, brand the health system, and place hospitals within suburban areas that are quickly growing (Brooks, Medscape, 1/24).

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