Top Medical Innovations That Cure Headaches
The best medical innovations for next year include an almond-size device that’s implanted in the mouth to relieve severe headaches and a hand-held scanner resembling a blow dryer that detects skin cancer, the Cleveland Clinic said on Wednesday.
Doctors and researchers at the Cleveland Clinic voted for what they thought were the biggest, most significant innovations from the 250 ideas submitted from their colleagues at the clinic. Dr. Micheal Roizen, Chief Wellness Officer of Cleveland Clinic, said one of the main contributing factors to getting on the list is the number of people that the product or procedure can potentially help.
For that reason, a device that helps relieve headaches, the second most common ailment after the cold, was second on the clinic’s list.
The miniaturized device — invented at the Cleveland Clinic and spun off into a separate, private company called Autonomic Technologies Inc — is implanted in the upper gum above the second molar to treat cluster headaches and migraine headaches. A lead tip of the implant is placed near specific nerves behind the bridge of the nose.
When the patient feels the headache coming on, a remote control device is placed on the outside of the cheek and the device delivers stimulation to those nerves, blocking headache pain.
The implant is available in Europe, but not in the United States. The company needs to do more studies to get FDA approval, said Dr. Frank Papay, Department Chair of Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, and consultant to Autonomic Technologies.