Top Health Innovations of 2016

Top Health Innovations of 2016

Popular Science has just released its list of the 12 most important health innovations of the year. Read a brief recap of a few of the highlights below. 

Probuphine Implant: Easy Opioid Maintenance

During treatment for opioid addicition, missing as little as one dose can trigger a relapse. Once under the skin Braeburn Pharmaceutical's Probuphine impant delivers a constant dose of buprenorphine (an opioid derivative) to combat withdrawal symptoms. The device is currently FDA-approved for patients in active recovery from opioid additiction. 

A Cancer Fighting Virus

IMLYGIC, the first FDA-approved viral cancer drug, is a modified herpes virus, has been green-lit to treat melanoma. When injected into the tumor, it ignites an immune response to combat the cancer. 

Absorb: A fully biodegradable stent

Metal stents have been the ol' standby in cardiac surgery, but due to the nature of the metal, plague can rebuild around it. Absorb is a fully biodegradable stent that does the same healing work, but dissolves when it's finished. The device has performed on par with traditional metal counterparts in clinical trials. 

Rapid, Low-Cost Zika Test

"Zika's biggest threat is its potential to cause birth defects, yet expectant mothers might not know they're infected," Alyssa Favreau and Claire Maldarelli write. The facilities required to perform these tests are not only unavailable in rural areas, but may also take days to produce results. MIT developed a paper-based test that gets results within three hours and researchers are hopefully this approach may be applied to rapidly diagnose other diseases such as malaria. 

Read the entire list of top science innovations of 2016 here.