No. 8 Innovation: A Personal Sedation Station (Video)

New tech could cut costs of colonoscopies

Patient with IV

Cleveland Clinic asked more than 100 of its top experts about the innovations set to reshape healthcare in the coming year. These are their answers — the Top 10 Innovations for 2014.

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Colonoscopies are crucial tests for detecting colon cancer and other digestive diseases. But they’re also the most expensive routine screenings that healthy people undergo.

A new computer-assisted, personalized sedation station aims to change that.

Cutting costs without reducing care

Costs could come down by an estimated $1 billion if anesthesiologists did not have to help with these screenings.

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With more than 10 million Americans having colonoscopies each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimate $10 billion in added annual costs to the healthcare system. Patients are usually given light sedation administered by an anesthesiologist to help them relax and sleep during a colonoscopy. But costs could come down by an estimated $1 billion if anesthesiologists did not have to help with these screenings.

That’s where the sedation station comes into play. This novel technology would allow other healthcare professionals to deliver the prescription sedative propofol. It was given premarket approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013 and is expected to be put into limited practice in 2014.

The goal of the device: to empower health care facilities to use their limited resources more effectively and deliver greater value. This goal is especially important in the resource-constrained U.S. healthcare environment.

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