15 medical 'firsts' in the last year

Healthcare is an evolving industry at the forefront of innovation, whether that be via technology, new surgical techniques or breakthrough therapies.

Here are 15 "firsts" in the field of medicine from the last 12 months that were reported by Becker's:

1. Pristine Surgical's Summit arthroscope, a single-use arthroscope providing 4K imaging that comes with Pristine Connect, a cloud-based software, was launched to the market. The 100% sterile scope comes ready to use out of the box and cuts down operating room setup.

2. Cleveland Clinic completed the first minimally invasive gastric sleeve procedure using the Levita surgical robot. The Levita surgery platform uses magnetic technology that allows surgeons to gently manipulate tissue and organs as needed depending on the procedure.

3. A surgical team at NYU Langone Health in New York City completed the world's first whole eye and partial face transplant. Although it is unclear whether the patient will gain sight through the transplanted eye, it has shown "remarkable" results on tests that measure clinical outcomes, according to the physician who led the procedure.

4. Newport Beach, Calif.-based Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian implanted one of the world's first dual-chamber leadless pacemakers in a patient, a minimally invasive procedure recently cleared by the FDA, using Abbott's Aveir leadless pacemaker system. 

5. The FDA approved Omvoh, a medication to treat ulcerative colitis developed by drugmaker Eli Lilly. The injection is the first treatment for ulcerative colitis that targets p19, a specific protein subunit that contributes to ulcerative colitis-related inflammation. 

6. Hackensack Meridian Neuroscience Institute is set to break national and global records with the nearing implementation of Zap-X Gyroscopic Radiosurgery combined with Synaptive brain only silent MRI. The institute's noninvasive neurosurgery center will be the first in the Northeast to offer Zap-X, first in the nation to offer Synaptive's head-only MRI and first in the world to combine both technologies. 

7. The University of Rochester Medicine Orthopedics Surgery Center, based in Henrietta, N.Y., opened its Clean Cube operating room, officially making it the first prefabricated operating room in the world with fully automated disinfection technology. 

8. New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System and St. Francis Hospital and Heart Center performed the first procedures using Magenta Medical's Elevate percutaneous left ventricular assist device, the world's smallest heart pump for the treatment of coronary artery disease. 

9. Lucid Diagnostics launched its EsoGuard #CheckYourFoodTube Mobile Test Unit, the first and only commercial diagnostic test capable of detecting esophageal precancer in at-risk individuals.

10. Jason Slakter, MD, an ophthalmologist at Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York in New York City, was the first physician to administer Syfovre, a treatment for geographic atrophy in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration — the leading cause of blindness. 

11. Pedro Villablanca, MD, and Brian O'Neill, MD, completed the first minimally-invasive valve replacement procedure in the U.S. using the new LuX-Valve Plus device. Developed by Dr. Villablanca and Dr. O'Neill, the LuX-Valve Plus device is a transcatheter tricuspid valve replacement that allows a shorter procedure time and faster recovery for patients.

12. The first in-human results for a technology that allows intraocular lenses to more closely replicate a crystalline lens were presented at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting in San Diego. The system works by inserting the base lens into the capsular bag after a 5.5 mm manual capsulotomy, which allows the front optic lens to dock into the base.

13. Gagan Singh, MD, an interventional cardiologist at University of California Davis Health in Sacramento, performed the first procedure using EchoPixel's 4D holographic software, called the Holographic Therapeutic Guidance. The new software allows physicians to view a digital medical image of the patient in the form of a 4D interactive hologram before and during the procedure. 

14. Students at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine in Urbana developed a machine-learning system to assist patient recoveries following anesthesia. The innovation won first place in the Society for Technology in Anesthesia's Engineering Challenge. 

15. HCA Florida Northwest Hospital in Margate completed its first elective trans-carotid artery revascularization procedure, a faster, less invasive procedure for treating carotid stenosis, that often reduces a patient's stroke risk.

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