Cleveland Clinic Innovations are Improving the Fight Against COVID-19

See how Cleveland Clinic caregivers are making new strides in caring for patients with COVID-19.

As the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolves, caring for the community, in the safest manner possible, is our top priority.

During this unprecedented time, Cleveland Clinic caregivers continue to pursue the guiding principle of ‘Patients First’ by improving the way we deliver care through innovation.

Since our founding in 1921, Cleveland Clinic has been a leading medical innovator. Ideas and practices that increase access and improve the patient experience are born out of our organization’s pioneering culture, in which our caregivers are passionate about continually advancing patient care.  This culture is visible in our teams’ creative responses to the pandemic.

“We speed up our response to any challenge by working as a team of teams,” said Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. “Among us are scientists, researchers and educators. These caregivers are steady and innovative in their efforts, which allow us to fulfill our mission and give back to the medical community.”

Over the past nearly 100 years, Cleveland Clinic innovations have saved millions of patients’ lives, and have helped shape standard practice in medicine.

Today, our caregivers are continuing the pursuit of innovation by finding new ways to adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation.

Cleveland Clinic COVID-19 Innovations:

Pandemic Accelerates Medical Innovation from Bench to Bedside

The COVID-19 pandemic presents many new medical challenges.

And deep inside Cleveland Clinic, inventors and engineers are answering the call.

We’ll take you behind-the-scenes where medical innovations come to life, helping healthcare workers treat the most critically ill.

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Home Monitoring App for Patients with COVID-19
In anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 patients, a home monitoring program has been developed collaboratively by Cleveland Clinic and Epic to allow caregivers to quickly respond those in need.

This new tool,  available via Epic’s MyChart app, is designed to manage care quickly and effectively while keeping patients safe in their homes.

The app provides an alternative to virtual visits by enabling a personalized connection between patients and providers, and is connected to patients’ medical records.

People who have (or are suspected to have) COVID-19 are enrolled in a 14-day interactive care plan through MyChart, where they enter symptoms, temperature, and oxygen once a day.

If a person’s symptoms worsen, a message is automatically delivered to a group of providers who can quickly step in. A provider can let the person know what they need to do next.

“The idea is for the patient to feel engaged in their healthcare and that somebody is watching over them – it gives them that extra level of comfort,” said Eric Boose,  Associate Chief of Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Information Office. “Using technology as part of the health care team is a big change for all of us during this pandemic, but it also gives us this great capability of keeping an eye on a larger amount of patients at one time, so that we can really focus on the ones that are having condition changes.”

The app is currently being used by patients and caregivers at Cleveland Clinic and hospitals nationwide.

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New ICU Practices to Better Protect Patients and Caregivers
To reduce risk for caregivers and patients, ICU staff  has implemented several measures to minimize direct contact with COVID-19 patients, and preserve personal protective equipment including:

  • Moving IV poles and equipment outside of patient rooms and into hallways
  • Keeping IV lines off of the floor when using hallway IV monitoring
  • Using a buddy system for donning and doffing of protective gear
  • Writing messages to patients on glass walls, to minimize face-to-face contact
  • Crafting ‘Isolation Cubes’ to prevent virus transmission during patient intubation

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Caregivers at Cleveland Clinic Akron General care for patients in the ICU using safety protocols. (Courtesy Cleveland Clinic)

Ventilator App Supports Respiratory Therapists Caring for COVID-19 Patients
Throughout the COVID-19 situation, respiratory therapists across the country have been working with a wide variety of ventilators – some of which may be new and unfamiliar to them.

Now, a mobile app, designed by Cleveland Clinic caregivers is helping providers understand how to use these different types of ventilators.

The Ventilator Mode App aids caregivers by providing real-time information about the model of ventilator they are using.

“Think of ventilators like cars — there are many makes and models, but the main functions are the same,” said Jay Alberts, Ph.D., one of the app’s co-creators. “By entering information in this app, the caregiver can quickly understand how to operate that specific ventilator.”

“This app is a valuable resource that can help us confidently and safely care for our patients to provide them with the best care possible,” said Robert Chatburn, RRT-NPS.

The team at Cleveland Clinic who designed this application include Jay Alberts, Ph.D, David Schindler, Robert Chatburn, and Eduardo Mireles-Cabodevila, M.D.

The app is now available to caregivers across the U.S.

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Cleveland Clinic Teams Up with Procter & Gamble to Optimize Face Shield Design
Teams from Procter & Gamble and Cleveland Clinic came together to optimize the design of face shields to ensure they provide the highest level of protection for front-line caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial design prototype was developed by Case Western Reserve University’s ‘thinkbox’ and evaluated by both organizations.  Project leaders met halfway between Cleveland and Cincinnati to share the first prototype and then production began. Just 14 days after the first call, a donation of 18,000 face shields and replacement shields was delivered to Cleveland Clinic.

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Procter & Gamble donated 15,000 face shield assemblies and 15,000 replacement shields to Cleveland Clinic. (Courtesy: Cleveland Clinic)    


Cleveland Clinic Partners with Tech Company to Develop a Rapid COVID-19 Breath Test
Cleveland Clinic is partnering with Astrotech’s subsidiary, BreathTech Corporation, to explore leveraging Astrotech’s BreathTest-1000™ mass spectrometer to rapidly screen for COVID-19 or related indicators. The goal of the agreement is to develop a non-invasive device that will use breath samples to identify COVID-19 strains, with the potential to provide a low-cost, self-service screening option that could be deployed on a large-scale.

Raed Dweik, M.D., Chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Respiratory Institute, will lead the Cleveland Clinic team.  Dr. Dweik and his research team were some of the first to identify that unique volatile organic compound (VOCs) metabolites in the breath can be used to detect certain diseases.  Cleveland Clinic researchers have successfully identified and published studies regarding the unique metabolites associated with asthma, heart failure, pulmonary arterial hypertension and liver disease.

Cleveland Clinic partners with Astrotech to develop a rapid COVID-19 breath test. (Courtesy: Cleveland Clinic)